Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration

First Advisor

Charlene Engleking

Second Advisor

Oliver Hagan


This thesis reviews the Total Quality Management (TQM) program initially developed in Japan after World War II and its entry into the United States during the early Eighties.

TQM was incubated in Japan and matured into a viable program. TQM offered those who implemented the program improved quality products and improved cooperation between management and the workers for accomplishing common goals and objectives . The program focused on product quality and the belief that customer satisfaction is of key importance.

United States managers were searching for improved management programs to motivate workers, improve production and increase sales and profits . Global competitiveness was beginning to show on management's bottom line and something had to happen quickly . When the TQM program became prominent in the United States management believed they had a management program that was simple and easy to implement . Armed with the belief that if the program is successful in Japan it would be successful in the United States.

Initial research on TQM programs in the United States indicated success was not as prevalent as in Japan . The question asked was why are enterprises in the United States encountering problems in the implementation of TQM? This thesis focused on identification of critical elements that deter TQM program success.

Research indicated t here were key elements that are essential to successful implementation of TQM. A TQM program will fail if the following elements are not properly used in the implementation process. The elements are management commitment, willingness to make cultural changes, empowering employees, permitting employees to participate in the decision making process, continuing extensive employee training and satisfying the customer.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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