Total quality management (TQM) in the Turkish public sector : the views of public employees on practices, impacts and problems for the implementation of TQM in two public organizations

Özbudun, Ergun
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Bilkent University
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Total Quality Management (TQM) has become a popular management approach and system since the 1980s. While it has been adopted by thousands of organizations, the debate on its originality in theory and its relationship with management theory still continues. It can be defined as a management system and approach that has a set of core principles, assumptions, practices, tools and techniques which are systemized into a coherent framework. The studies suggest that TQM theory and practices can be, to a great extent, considered under the scope of management theory. In addition, it makes unique contributions to the management practice. This dissertation examines the practices, constraints and potential problems for adoption of the quality management in the public sector in the international and the Turkish public sector context. Public sector organizations in many developed countries widely implemented the quality management as a management approach and utilized it as a tool for reforming public sector. TQM became an important part of comprehensive public sector reform efforts. Some Turkish public organizations have also adopted the quality management. However, unlike some developed countries, it has been implemented at the organizational level rather than being systematic and being part of comprehensive reform efforts. Although various scholars have been discussing the feasibility and problems related to adoption of TQM in the Turkish public sector, there is very limited empirical research on the practices and problems of the quality management. Thus, a survey is conducted in two pioneering public organizations for adopting the quality v management in order to explore the views of the workforce. The literature proposes that the positive attitude of the employees is one of factors for the success of the quality management initiatives. The findings reveal that the workforce has generally positive views towards the quality management and public sector reforms. The findings also signify that the success and future of the quality management cannot be isolated from the organizational context and approaches to quality management as well as the problems of Turkish political and public administration system.

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