An examination of extent of application of total quality management (TQM) principles to logistics operations of selected humanitarian-aid Ngos in Kajiado District
Ohana, Matthias Omondi
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The importance of quality for organizational performance and success on the market is widely recognized in business literature .and practice, Indeed a lot has been written on how quality has impacted positively the performance of many organizations around the world, Among the many approaches to management of quality that have been suggested, one of the most popular and most often recommended approaches is the philosophy of total quality management (TQM) - a holistic approach that seeks to integrate all organizational functions to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives, TQM has a number of principles which organizations that have adopted the philosophy usually apply. For example TQM principles that are embodied in the seven criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MNBQA) are deemed essential to instituting successful TQM systems. The MNBQA model has been mainly applied in USA where it was developed. Various authors have argued and empirically tested the positive impact of TQM on the performance commercial enterprises in terms of operating and financial results, quality, customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction. Not much work has been done to investigate the potential effects of application of TQM principles on not-for-profit organizations and in particular humanitarian aid organizations. Probably researchers have regarded TQM to be a philosophy geared towards improving the bottom line hence the focus in business or commercial enterprises. The purpose of this research project was to examine the extent of application of TOM principles to the management of logistics operations of selected humanitarian organizations in Kajiado district. Specifically the study sought to examine the degree to which four of these TOM principles namely leadership and top-management com mitment; continuous improvement to systems and processes; employee empowerment and performance management are being applied ,in the management of logistics operations of these organizations. The study adopted a purposive sampling technique in the identification of the NGOs to take part. Stratified random sampling was used to select the sample size from the population. Data was gathered through self-administered questionnaires based on Likerttype 6-point scale and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate descriptive and inferential statistics on the scores. The output was presented using frequency and percentage charts and interpretations made based on research objectives. The study findings showed that TQM principles that were being studied in this research were correlated to the logistics operations of the humanitarian organizations. Indeed the study found that the four TQM principles were being applied to a large extent and in some instances to a very large extent in management of. logistics operations of the selected humanitarian organizations. Top management commitment was found to be key in ensuring quality in delivery of logistics services. The results also brought out the need for these organizations to keep focusing on improving on their systems and processes in order to have sustainable success in their logistics operations. Employee empowerment and measurement of performance are the other TOM principles which the study showed have a real effect on the logistics operations of humanitarian organizations and also need to be keenly looked into.