Insert Total quality management The term quality postulates different things to different people as regards quality and vocabulary. The definition of quality thus brings several definitions by different stakeholders. For others, it is straight forward and means that a product should work as intended with no or minimum number of failures or faults. Excellence in quality is not in the perception of the customer but rather in the standards set out by an organization (Nigam 79). This paper, therefore, seeks insights on why it is difficult to define quality, the concept of zero defects and as well as the difference among some scholars as regards the concept.
The meaning of quality differs depending on the circumstances and perceptions held by a consumer. Its meaning is also largely time based and equally situational. For example, quality becomes a different concept when focus is on tangible products versus the perception of a quality service. Scholars have thus given a general definition which postulates that it is a fitness for intended use. This definition says that quality is being able to meet and exceed the expectations of the customer. Deming argues that the customer’s definition of quality is the one that genuinely matters. It is thus evident that having a clear definition is not easy.
The concept of zero defects is advocated by Philip Crosby. The primary objective of total quality management is to bring the number of faults or defects to zero (Nigam 113). However, Juran and Deming disagree with Crosby’s assertion that organizations should work towards having zero defects in services and products. This is on the grounds that customers have different tastes and preferences which are difficult to satisfy. Humans are not perfect and having .zero defects is not perfection. It is concerned with a commitment by employees and understanding that processes should continually be enhanced and defective systems should be reworked and reorganized from the top down. .
In conclusion, quality encompasses a broad aspect that makes it difficult to settle on one definition. Meeting and continually exceeding market demands constitutes quality. Having zero defects is in itself not realizing perfection as market demands are dynamic. Quality Guru Deming postulates that catchphrases like “Zero Defects” are in fact, counterproductive and may possibly de-emphasize the customs and tools linked with continuous improvement.
Nigam, Shailendra. Total Quality Management: An Integrated Approach. New Delhi: Excel Books, 2005. Print.