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Total quality management and military reform

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1 Author(s)

The total quality management (TQM) effort has had notable successes; however, the creation of a quality management structure imposes risk on many organizations. The author appraises especially conspicuous bureaucratic patterns, relates those patterns to problems within military organizations, and examines the opportunities and the risks of the TQM initiative. Similarities between behavior in military environments and in bureaucratic organizations are examined. When unchecked, all bureaucracies tend to grow, spend more, impose elaborate procedures, and diffuse accountability to the point where no one has clear responsibilities. Many of the elements of TQM exist to counteract these bureaucratic behavior dysfunctions. TQM structures can be manipulated by individuals or organizations who are trying to expand their influence. TQM reforms will lead to continuous improvement only when managers resist the normal bureaucratic tendencies to expand and elaborate

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronics Conference, 1992. NAECON 1992., Proceedings of the IEEE 1992 National

Date of Conference:

18-22 May 1992

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