TQM Paradigm Shift in The Context of Change Management


  • Povilas Vanagas Kaunas University of Technology
  • Sandra Žirgutienė Kaunas University of Technology


total quality management, sustainable development, stakeholders, compliance risk, changes.


At the end of the past century the development of economics obtained some new trends. Three important processes proceeded: fast development of IT, globalization, and formation of stakeholders’ groups. All economic sectors have to accept new principles and modus operandi as a sequence of these processes and forming environment as a worth. It appeared that a part of the pressures to which organizations had to react were beyond the grasp of their management. Sustainable business approach requires mega risks to be identified and their potential impact on the future of the business understood. Particular emphasis is made on compliance risk management and collaborating and engaging with organizations’ stakeholders to manage and share the risks. The contemporary quality management should be discussed in context with the implementation of the triple-bottom line strategies for simultaneously creating economic, social and environmental value. TQM is one of the most commonly used change management tools. Therefore it becomes important to evaluate if the evolution of TQM is at the same pace with rapidly changing environment and business conditions. Traditional approach to evolution of the concept of quality management from inspection to control, assurance, and, finally, to total quality management, at first sight does not tell a lot about relation of quality function and external pressures for the organization. The recent goal of quality movement is achieving business excellence, and many of today’s business excellence models are focusing strategies not just to financial results, but also attending to the social and environmental impact of businesses. However, the integrity and systematic approach to management of social and ecological risks are rather seldom seen as source of competitive advantage. Under the recent globalization of markets and businesses, the environment is one of the most significant components of businesses. TQM, as a management philosophy, has elevated the implementation of quality management practices from operational to strategic level. Sustainability cannot be separated from evolution of TQM, since sustainability itself should be defined as the ability of organization to adapt to change in the business environment, to capture contemporary best practices, and to achieve and maintain competitive performance. The evolution of TQM therefore always evolves along with the changes in the business environment. The scientific literature is assuming TQM to be evolved to strategic TQM and sustainable TQM, both of which may contribute to successful organization management and coping with emerging changes of business environment.

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