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Is Total Quality Management a liberating force for the people who work with it or is it intrinsically exploitative and if so why?

I’ve experienced huge successes and outright failure using TQM. The success was in an organisation where the CEO was the champion, and though a UK company they embraced all the collegiate and collective brotherhood ethos that was a blend of US and Japan. It was a way of life, a permanent culture shift in which people were recognised for relevant achievements, rewarded, retained and given further responsibility. In contrast, the other organisation were ticking boxes, the CEO was a distant, Eton educated Grenadier Guard who I never saw ‘at the workface’ it was an effort to find examples worth turning into short films (my job) and it was apparent that some were a fudge. It was being used by middle managersto secure their place at the expense of others.

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