All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program



Business Administration


TQM, control, employees, manager, process


Management philosophy has progressed through many stages from the early food gatherers to the 1990s. The importance of quality has recently been recognized as more vital to corporate survival than emphasis on the bottom line. An immense budget deficit looms over federal budget-makers with the threat of sequestration under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill warning that governmental departments will have to learn be more productive with significantly less funding.

The main premise of Total Quality Management (TQM) is that it costs less to do the right thing right the first, and every, time. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), generally, and it's Veterans Health Serv ices and Research Administration (VHS&RA), specifically, have declared the intent to initiate TQM in 1992, following planned, systematic educational training programs.

There are many approaches to TQM, based on the works of Crosby, Deming, Juran, Feigenbaum and others. Most of the work of these experts was carried out in the manufacturing industry, so it must be translated to the service industry, and then specifically tailored to health care.

Although there are differences among the theories of TQM, there are several similar principles. These are: existence of top management commitment, creation of a quality-nurturing corporate culture, emphasis on training on the principles and tools for measurement, concern for the customer, and recognition of the ongoing nature of continuous improvement.

Implementing TQM is a long range project, a process rather than a program. Specific steps can be taken to lead to an environment focused on quality. While pursuing this goal, the theory of precession ensures that increased productivity will also result. In the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, as well as in the private sector, TQM will be pursued to attain the dual goals of quality and productivity, thus ensuring consumers of the best possible care at the lowest possible cost.

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