Elements of Total Quality Management

Quality is an essential parameter which helps organizations outshine their competitors and survive the fierce competition.

The success of total quality management depends on following eight elements which are further classified into following four groups.

  • Foundation
  • Building Bricks
  • Binding Mortar
  • Roof


Foundation further includes Ethics, Integrity and Trust

The entire process of Total Quality Management is built on a strong foundation of Ethics, Integrity and Trust. Total Quality Management involves every single employee irrespective of his designation and level in the hierarchy.

Ethics: Ethics is an individual’s understanding of what is good and bad at the workplace. A thin line of difference does exist between good and bad, which is for you to decide. Ethics teach an individual to follow code of conduct of organization and adhere to rules and regulations.

Integrity: Integrity refers to honesty, values and an individual’s sincerity at workplace. You need to respect your organization’s policies. Avoid spreading unnecessary rumours about your fellow workers. Total Quality Management does not work in an environment where employees criticize and backstab each other.

Trust: Trust is one of the most important factors necessary for implementation of total quality management. Employees need to trust each other to ensure participation of each and every individual. Trust improves relationship among employees and eventually helps in better decision making which further helps in implementing total quality management successfully.


Bricks are placed on a strong foundation to reach the roof of recognition. The foundation needs to be strong enough to hold the bricks and support the roof.

Training: Employees need to be trained on Total Quality Management. Managers need to make their fellow workers aware of the benefits of total quality management and how would it make a difference in their product quality and eventually yield profits for their organization. Employees need to be trained on interpersonal skills, the ability to work as a team member, technical know-how, decision making skills, problem solving skills and so on. Training enables employees to implement TQM effectively within their departments and also make them indispensable resources.

Teamwork: Team work is a crucial element of total quality management. Rather than working individually, employees need to work in teams. When individuals work in unison, they are in a position to brainstorm ideas and come up with various solutions which would improve existing processes and systems. Team members ought to help each other to find a solution and put into place.

Leadership: Leadership provides a direction to the entire process of Total Quality Management. Total Quality Management needs to have a supervisor who acts as a strong source of inspiration for other members and can assist them in decision making. A leader himself needs to believe in the entire process of TQM for others to believe in the same. Proper downloads, briefs about TQM must be given from to time to employees to help them in its successful implementation.

Binding Mortar

Binding Mortar binds all the elements together.

Communication - Communication binds employees and extracts the best out of them. Information needs to be passed on from the sender to the recipient in its desired form. Small misunderstandings in the beginning lead to major problems later on. Employees need to interact with each other to come up with problems existing in the system and find their solutions as well.

Three types of Communication takes place between employees:

Downward Communication: Flow of information takes place from the management to the employees

Upward Communication: Flow of information takes place from the employees to the top level management

Sideways Communication: Communication also takes place between various departments.


Recognition: Recognition is the final element of Total Quality Management. Recognition is the most important factor which acts as a catalyst and drives employees to work hard as a team and deliver their lever best. Every individual is hungry for appreciation and recognition. Employees who come up with improvement ideas and perform exceptionally well must be appreciated in front of all. They should be suitably rewarded to expect a brilliant performance from them even the next time.

❮❮   Previous Next   ❯❯

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.