What is Total Quality Management

At its core the basic foundation of Total Quality Management is that "the organizations culture is defined by the "continuous improvement of organizational processes, techniques, and training." This requires adherence to the four principals of total quality management which are: 1. Getting it right the first time. 2. Listen to and learn from customers and employees. 3. Make continuous improvement an everyday matter. 4. Build teamwork, trust, and mutual respect.

Deming taught us this concept of total quality management through his 85-15 rule, which states that 85 percent of the time a problem is because of the system whereas only 15 percent of the time the problem is the employee. Combining the definition of total quality management with the rule that states problems arise because of the system more often than not, we can assume it safe to say that fixing the system should be the goal as this will eliminate more problems than fixing any one man ever would.

The Contingency Approach

This act of trying to fix the system or simply managing conflict fits right into the next concept of The Contingency Approach to Management. Using the contingency approach a leader might seek to improve a company's system to work better by using techniques that are "situationally appropriate". With the contingency approach method there is no one way to manage correctly.

Human Capital & Social Capital are additional concepts of organizational behavior. Human capital is the investment a company makes in it's individual employees, their education and knowledge, skills, motivation, creativity, etc. whereas social capital is the investment the company makes in relationships. These relationships can include shared visions, support groups, teams, mentoring programs, cooperation, etc.

Positive Organizational Behavior Model

Interestingly most of these human and social capital concepts fall right into Fred Luthan's Positive Organizational Behavior model, which is "the study and application of positively oriented human resource strengths and psychological capacities that can be measured, developed, and effectively managed for performance improvement in today's workplace." Many of these strengths and capacities are the same concepts things that companies desire when they think of developing their human and social capital… confidence, goals, motivation, perseverance, emotional intelligence, etc. Simply offering your employee the best tools such as a nice 2 drawer filing cabinet or a better computer system may be all it takes.

Assuming a manager could accurately "measure" positive organizational behavior this manager would have a great grasp on the state of his human and social capital on hand… he would also then seek to improve company processes (total quality management) such as increasing customer lifetime value and bettering customer retention via improved PR and permission based marketing techniques to increase the corporate capital available and thereby increase the positive organizational behavior output.