BOOK REVIEW: Managing for Excellence in the Twenty-First Century – The Total Quality Approach
Reviewer: Professor Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi,
Title: Managing for Excellence in the Twenty-First Century – The Total Quality Approach
Author: Professor Goski Alabi
Publishers: Author House
Year of Publication: April, 2017
Number of Pages: 400
In this ambitious work, Goski Alabi reveals a deep knowledge and understanding of Total Quality Management (TQM) which gained prominence as an academic discipline with all of its virtues introduced to the world of Education in the 1990s.
In the new millennium, Quality is quite rightly a high priority and has become almost the very stuff of the education debate. So while many of us may feel that we are now all part of the quality movement, there is still a huge gap between the rhetoric and the real understanding.
Goski, as a proven academician and author specializing in TQM science, presents a broad analysis of the discipline and cleverly links it to management science in the field of leadership and managing for excellence in the 21st Century.
In a balanced opinion and with concrete examples, the author in the opening Chapters (i.e. Chapters 1 – 4) makes a critical assessment based on an explicitly stated rationale, that TQM is a management model. TQM emphasizes a universal message in leadership, strategy, teamwork, rigorous analysis and self-assessment.
Again, TQM has always been a philosophy for the long haul management approach rather than a short-term fix. TQM is now required more than ever in our World of continuous change especially in Africa where, seemingly, we need to overcome anti-progressive forces that slow down Africa’s development agenda.
In Chapters 5 to 9, Goski delivers an in-depth account and perspective on TQM. It is more of a literature review discussing major contributors (the gurus) to the TQM crusade namely: Juran (1979), Cosby (1979), Feigenbaun (1983), Deming (1986), Ishikawa (1986) and Taguichi (1986). Actually Feigenbaun (1983) was the first to use the term and also made the point of the need for top management involvement.
Goski further illustrates the TQM movement which started in the USA more as a Quality Control (in the 1950s) and went back to Japan and came back to the USA strengthened as a management philosophy.
Many contributions of the said quality gurus are vividly discussed in the book. From the USA, Juran (1979) stressed the need for Top Management involvement and developed the Quality Trilogy (Planning, Control and Improvement); made familiar the use of Pareto Technique and the Quality Costs Measurement.
The author opined that the Gurus of the TQM discipline defined the concept in different ways but still the essence and spirit remained the same. In fact, reading the book, I was able to define TQM in my own language and understanding as ‘a system of cyclic processes for planning, enactment, feedback and renewed planning which promote and emphasize quality enhancement through the generation of a collective attitude with the prime aim of delivering value for money product or service.’
Chapters 10 to 15 linked TQM to Managing for Excellence, stating that though the definitions of quality have changed with the passage of time with changing customer’s need and requirements yet the essence has more or less been developed along the lines of problem solving and conformation to standards for customer satisfaction.
Goski, boldly attempts to discuss the reasons why we should worry about Quality:- competition, customer satisfaction, maintaining standards, accountability, improvement of employee morale and motivation, credibility, prestige and status; image and visibility.
With management functions getting complex, approaches to managing quality in functional areas are becoming difficult. Organisations which have successful use of TQM principles have customer and quality embedded in their Corporate Strategy.
Goski in her final Chapter 16, captioned – Final Reflections on Managing for Quality in the Twenty-First Century – The Goski Alabi’s Approach reveals the fact that any organisation is a system of interrelated units. All of the components within the organisation must be collectively involved for TQM to succeed.
The definitions of Quality incorporates factors like top management commitment, leadership, team-work, training and development, rewards and recognition, involvement and empowerment of employees etc. These critical factors are the foundation for transformational orientation to create a sustainable improvement culture for competitive advantage on a continuous basis.
On the debit side reading the book, I realised that the richness of the book could have been enhanced with practical Case Studies in Africa, Ghana in particular. Again, the end of Chapter questions could have been improved using Case Studies to help students in particular to test their learning abilities along the Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning domains. The next edition may take some of these suggestions into consideration including developing an index for the book.
In conclusion, the writer’s writing is eloquent yet understandable. The orderliness of the book conforms to an academic curriculum. The author provides good material and content – a true TQM compendium for students, lecturers and practitioners. Truly, the reader gets a sense of what Goski intended to demonstrate.
In my opinion, Goski Alabi offers readers some of the best scholarship on TQM.
A tremendous book packed with in-depth knowledge in TQM.