Total Quality Management - an issue of macroergonomics

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1 Total Quality Management - an issue of macroergonomics LeszekPacholski^'^ ^ ^ Institute of Management Engineering, Poznan University of Technology 11 Strzelecka Str., Poznan, Poland EM ail: put.poznan.pl ^ Stocznia Szczecinska S. A., ul. Hutnicza 1; Szczecin, Poland Abstract The author focuses on two macroergonomic issues: the influence Total Quality Management exerts on the Company Management System and the Human Factor required for the TQM implementation to be successful. The basis for the consideration is the implementation of the Total Quality Management effected by the leading Polish shipyard - Stocznia Szczecinska S.A. 1 Introduction The contemporary enterprise has been forced to change the former strategy of operations, market share increase, and expansion of the output and sales of new products, to the strategy of forecasting the client's demand in advance, and adjusting the products and manufacturing systems accordingly. This change has been marked by a diversified demand which is difficult to forecast, short product life cycles and the diminished competitive importance of price (following from globalization). This has forced the producers to look for other than price sources of competitive advantage, which caused their focus on the issue of quality of products sold and services rendered and shortening of the delivery cycles. What has become the most important prerequisite for the success of a manufacturing organization is the client's interests located outside of the company itself. The efficiency of processes to service clients and the promptness of the company's reaction to the market is measured by the Total Cycle Time, which refers to the period between the client's expression of a particular desire and his or her payment and full satisfaction for the product or service obtained. The internal

2 668 Marine Technology company factors, such as orderly internal operations or processing of the paperwork, have become less important. The product quality has become the main element of competitiveness and the fundamental criterion for maintaining the company position on the market. These very changes have increased the importance of quality from being an operational parameter of production to becoming the most important strategic factor of company management. Another prerequisite of the strategy of company management refers to the market globalization, which - apart from the products - concerns also capital resources and human labor. High profits from increased interest rate of treasury bonds in one part of the world may practically within seconds (thanks to computer technology) drain the capital from another part of the globe. The crisis in the companies of the latter may be generated from practically nothing and without any opportunity to prevent it. The issue of globally taken human labor allows to observe that future contacts between countries or regions will not concern natural resources or strategic locations, but rather access to work, which may be scarce due to technological progress. The solution of this situation consists in the economic expansion and continuous growth, relying on the discovery of reserves, provided by utilizing the entire intelligence of all company employees in order to overcome the threats. 2. Ergonomic aspect of Total Quality Management The ongoing utilization of the entire intelligence of all company's employees in order to achieve the continuous growth and economic development of a company is a macroergonomic type of an activity. Its core lies in the organizational interface, which has evolved from the first-generation (human-machine interface technology) and second-generation (user system interface technology) ergonomics. It seems that the notion of microergonomics can be justified particularly with reference to the human-machine interface technology, but also with respect to the second-generation ergonomics. The above notion and that of macroergonomics, which is sometimes called the third generation ergonomics, might contribute to the entity named ergonomics. Looking for the reserves of economic development in the macroeconomic factor is the most interesting innovation in the contemporary company management. At the turn of the eighties in the 20^ century, the concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM), Just in Time (JIT) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) were developed on this basis. This situation frequently results in vast areas of knowledge generated about a particular economic innovation, yet this knowledge is deprived of scientific grounds, such as laws to rule this innovation. The above observation to a large degree applies to TQM, JIT and BPR. This obliges the scientists involved in companies reality to look for the scientific aspects conforming to the principles of contemporary ergonomics in the area of the above mentioned innovations.

3 Marine Technology Figure 1: Szczecin Shipyard ships sales ( ) TQM is based on the following four basic principles: quality is the main objective of the company operations; quality is the task of each company's employee; the notion of quality is multi-dimensional and comprises people, processes and company systems; quality consists in preventing faults rather than in detecting them. Current managerial innovations based on the macroergonomic principles of the company identity are assigned a concrete efficiency advantage. There are estimations (concerning TQM) that this kind of innovation is capable of utilizing a 20% reserve in the company economic development. Such a high reserve in the value of company's sales has probably been blocked by the hitherto classical, corporate model of the company management. uss W1 199? SGG 18& Figure 2: Gross Domestic Product per person in Poland ( ).

4 670 Marine Technology 3. Issue of TQM implementation The considerations presented in this paper are based on the Total Quality Management implementation effected by the leading Polish shipyard - Stocznia Szczecihska S.A. It has to be emphasized that the interest the Stocznia Szczecinska has demonstrated in the quality systems is by no means unique in Polish economy. Polish quality boom is a natural outcome of the dynamic process of economic renewal and entrepreneurship, experienced by a vast majority of Polish manufacturing companies. 29,5 c_, _p Figure 3: Inflation rate in Poland ( ).

5 Marine Technology 671 The Polish processes of dynamic economic renewal and entrepreneurship between 1991 and 1998 are commonly known and recognized with respect to their macroeconomic range. They are formally exemplified by the following: rapid growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), drastic drops in inflation rates, soaring capital investments (largely from foreign sources), massive job creation, increases in real wages, decline in budget deficits and public debt as measured against the GDP Figure 4: Unemployment rate in Poland ( ). It has to be explicitly emphasized that the achievements of the entire economy come from the successes of individual enterprises. The restructurization accomplished by the enterprises is in turn grounded on their internal renewal of management and entrepreneurship. The core of this renewal entails the company management system, which comprises the following four elements: strategy, structure, decision making processes and the company identity. The environmental factors have made the fourth element - the identity, which refers to the human factor and its macroeconomic aspect - the fundamental restructurization incentive. It is estimated that out of the vast number (75%) of American and British enterprises that declare the TQM implementation, only 1/4 to 1/3 confirms the significant influence of the quality program on the competitiveness of their companies. The conclusion is that at least approximately 2/3 of the implemented TQM programs has not met the expectations. The analysis of these discouraging factors demonstrates that the most significant flaw of the majority of implemented TQM programs was underestimation of the human aspect of quality and negligence of

6 672 Marine Technology the issue, which is obvious for contemporary ergonomics, that the change and development of an organization depends on the people in it. management of technology and organizational change financial restructuring: debt reduction. total quality management privatization performance modelling project management ',",' ;*; v^j^&aaa managing changes Figure 5: Macroergonomic bases of the company renewal. Current bibliographic data and the experience form the TQM implementation at the Stocznia Szczecinska S.A. point out to the importance of the following implementation prerequisites: the primary role in the TQM implementation processes has to be assigned to the human factor; the tradition of excessively narrow perception of quality by the top level management and the consequent poor involvement of the company boards in TQM processes has to be abandoned; concrete organizational methods to create positive quality attitudes, behaviors and involvement of employees should be offered; unequivocal link of the individual employees' positions with the results of complex management through quality in the company has to be demonstrated; quality management concept has to be implemented in a clear and understandable way to win full employees' approval; process leaders at all three levels of the management hierarchy: strategic, tactic and operational one have to be particularly cared for; interpersonal communication and open information policy have to be improved according to the principle that the worker who is openly informed about the institution's goal and strategy cannot avoid responsibility.

7 Marine Technology Conclusions The TQM philosophy entails the complete range of strategic, actual and operational issues of the company with respect to the technical, human and methodological aspect. The TQM implementation affects the organizational, personnel and financial areas as well as the issues of the circulation of information and interpersonal communication. In the company which implements the TQM philosophy, the information flow, which was traditionally limited to the content determined by the supervisors to be necessary, was replaced by the informative openness, indispensable to attain the goals and implement the institutional strategy. This conforms to the principle that the one who is not provided with information cannot assume responsibility; an employee who obtains full information cannot avoid responsibility. Therefore, the Total Quality Management is a special form of the company organizational culture, aiming at making the employees the subjects of operations and at emphasizing the integration principles of efficient cooperation. The company's strategy, structure, decision-making process and identity are not a set of unrelated elements in the process of the company management. They form a tightly knit interrelated unity, or a system. Figure 6: Company Management System. Consequently, the implementation of TQM has particular effects on the whole process of the company management. The TQM or BPR must not be perceived exclusively as "fiddling" with the company identity. The relation between the identity and decision-making processes is characterized by a particularly strong link. If the identity changes as a result of a strong charismatic leader, the excessively formalized or bureaucratic decision-making processes and their impersonal character are shattered. It is worth observing that the bureaucracy of decision-making processes impedes the generation of managerial identity, which is typical of contemporary management innovations such as TQM or BPR.

8 674 Marine Technology Yet stronger relations bind the elements of structure and identity within the company management system. The structure affects the identity by means of structure assisted division of power. The identity that exists in TQM promotes the integration principles of efficient cooperation, thus making the existing organizational structure flexible, and creates links over the traditional hierarchical divisions. In practice this makes the organization thinner and more flat. This result is achieved in TQM and BPR by means of replacing the traditional function-oriented structures by the new process-oriented ones. Here the relations between the structure and decision-making processes result in delegating decisions to the level of the competent and responsible employees who are directly involved in production. It means that these elements of the structure which serve as intermediaries, coordinate and supervise the on line level are practically eliminated. This task may also be assumed by modern computer technologies. Traditional bureaucratic structures are replaced in TQM by mundane teaching of process thinking in terms of task teams, business units, company mission and strategy, organizational culture and business leaders, all of which are further examples of strong influences the company structure exerts on the company identity and strategy. The managerial identity, exemplified in TQM by the business leaders, may constitute a driving force for profound, expanding and longterm changes of values, principles, rules, and organizational behavior in a company. A leader does not treat the company's employees as the labor force but as the human capital, which is the resource of the company. An employee treated in this way becomes an asset him/herself and enables the generation of further, new, valuable assets, getting the recognition of fellow workers and of the social environment of the company. References 1. Carr D. K. and Johanson H. J., Best practices in reengineering: what works and what doesn't in the reengineering process. McGraw-Hill, New York, Oakland J. S., Total Quality Management. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., Oxford, Pacholski L., TQM - six dilemmas of contemporary management in manufacturing business. Poznan University of Technology Scientific Works - Organization & Management, 22, pp [In Polish]. 4. Pacholski L. and Bancewicz J., Total Quality Management as the stage of the enterprise management improvement. Poznan University of Technology Scientific Works - Organization & Management, 25, pp , 1999, [In Polish]. 5. Pacholski L. and Krukowski K., Preparation, application and maintaining the quality management system of Stocznia Szczecihska S.A. according to the quality standard ISO Poznan University of Technology Scientific Works - Organization & Management, 18, pp. Ill - 127, 1995, [In Polish].

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