Original Research

Employees in Total Quality Management

M. G. Matlhape, N. Lessing
Acta Commercii | Vol 2, No 1 | a19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v2i1.19 | © 2002 M. G. Matlhape, N. Lessing | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2002 | Published: 05 December 2002

About the author(s)

M. G. Matlhape, Wits Health), South Africa
N. Lessing, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

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Companies have become very disillusioned with Total Quality Management (TQM) as a solution to their quality related problems. Part of the problem has been that companies' expectations from TQM is as a solution to their existing problems rather than as a new philosophy towards creating value for shareholders, employees, and customers. Employee involvement is usually the element in the TQM philosophy that is most difficult to manage. Central to employee participation within the TQM philosophy is teamwork. In the attempt to facilitate total quality management, this article explores specific South African challenges to achieving this. These are

  • affirmative action and divers ity management
  • skills shortages, training and development
  • low levels of employee well-being.

Working with people requires fundamental understanding of the uniqueness of each individual with their own identity and set of preferences. It also requires an understanding of teams and the mechanisms of making a group of individuals work well or poorly together. This will assist managers to realise active participation, quality output from their workers through individualised, and team based motivational processes.


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