A survey of the implementation of total quality management practices in ISO 9001 certified service organizations in Kenya
Maina, Phoebe Njeri
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The overall objective of this research was to survey the implementation of total quality management practices in ISO 9001 certified service organizations in Kenya. Total quality management is one area that the organization should pay attention to because it has a lot of significance on overall performance of the organization. Total quality management is an approach to improving the competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of an organization for the benefit of all stakeholders. It is a way of planning, organizing each activity which is made up of a number of practices like customer focus, top management commitment, employee training, employee involvement, process management, supplier teaming, benchmarking, continuous improvement, quality measurement, quality audit, quality planning and leadership. The study may help the top management of the service industries especially in certified firms to realize the importance of implementation of quality management practices in improving the performance. The study may help in enlightening the consumers of the on the total quality management aspects and what they should expect from the service industries. The study could also be of great help to other researchers in the same field which will act as a resource material to facilitate their study. The study used descriptive survey design and the target population was 70 ISO certified service organizations. Stratified simple random sampling technique was adopted to select 59 organizations for the study. The researcher used Questionnaires as the data collection tools which had both open ended and closed questions constructed and pilot test was conducted to test the instruments before the actual research commenced. Later the questionnaires were administered to the whole sample population by drop and pick method. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Quantitative data was analyzed using mean, mode, median and correlation coefficient. Qualitative data was analyzed based on content analysis. Quantitative data was presented by use of statistical techniques and the qualitative data was presented by use of content notes. The study established that ISO certified organizations in the service industry have been implementing most of the TQM principles, although only 10.2% of the organizations were always implementing the principles. Less than 50% of the organizations were engaging in continuous improvement, benchmarking, and fact-based decision-making. The study established that effective implementation of TQM in ISO certified organizations is positively associated with training of employees, management commitment, continuous improvement, and customer orientation. Thus, in concordance with previous studies and TQM theorists, the four variables of the study - training of employees, management commitment, continuous improvement, and customer orientation - are key determinants of effective implementation of total quality practices. Recommendations and suggestions for further research are given based on the research findings.