Choosing a Philosophy

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Choosing a Philosophy

Choosing a Philosophy

Management philosophy (MP) can be described as the philosophy applied in managing the operations in the organization. It differs as per the management styles used by different leaders and the theory or approach enforced by them. According to Wang (2011) “Management philosophy refers to the central, distinctive and enduring concepts, beliefs, principles, and attitudes guiding business management, which are critical in the pursuit of mission” (p.111). Wang (2011) explains “for many Japanese companies; management philosophy has become an essential ethical foundation for mission-driven organizations” (p.111). However, according to Evans, Pane-Haden, Clayton, and Novicevic (2013), organizations used MP as a guide to build relationships between organizations and society.Is important for leaders to recognized the vital role of building trusting relationship.


Total Quality Management (TQM), a Japanese innovation that combines different Far Eastern philosophies into one working system(Wang, 2011). TQM as a concept has continued to evolve since 1951. TQM is a methodology used by managers to become involved improving the production of goods / services (Faihan-Mossad, 2014). TQM is a combination of management tools and quality which purpose is to be able to increase the organization goals reducing risk due wasteful practice (Faihan-Mossad, 2014).For example, In Japan, the approach to produce quality work was team oriented and decentralized although each small unit are connected to the whole and top performance of smaller parts equate to high performance for the organization as a whole (Kemp, 2013). Furthermore, Faihan-Mossad (2014) defines TQM as “a description of the culture, attitude, and structure of a company that strives to provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs” (p.35). The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company’s operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste eradicated from operations (Faihan-Mossad, 2014).

However, Serban (2015) indicates TQM methodology and its techniques guarantee a way to maintain a “positive momentum” ensuring a positive performance. Serban (2015) adds that organizations with a TQM management are organizations with a very stylish management, and differs from traditional management. “These differences can be better understood by classifying their characteristics into three categories: product development, customer orientation and quality of the goods/services, and the development/management of organizational processes” (Serban, 2015, p. 82).

Although TQM is a philosophy which discusses how quality improvement works, some organizations do not want to adopt this approach. That’s because managers neither develop ownership and nor do they encourage everyone in the organization to involve. Moreover, proper evaluation of the consultation is not made for implementation of the system. Another reason is that failure of management is seen due to the undue strain of lowering the charges and increasing turnover, putting aside customer’s satisfaction. We have to remember that TQM also involves customer feedbacks about their satisfaction. According to Rizer (2012) other reasons for TQM failure include:“a lack of training and communication of all individuals participating in a project, a gap between management rhetoric and actual performance, an inability to measure results, and egos” (p.1). Over-institutionalized politics also can become a problem (Rizer, 2012).

However, previous research reported mixed and ambiguous results of the relationship between TQM practices and performances. According to Sadikoglu and Olcay (2014), the reasons for the mixed outcomes of the research is because Previous studies used different methods, various TQM variables, and different performance measures in their research models. Furthermore, they were performing in different contexts such as different countries and different industries. The barriers to TQM practices might have caused to the mixed results in different studies. However, Sadikoglu and Olcay (2014) explains that the main reason for implementing TQM practices is improving customer satisfaction, quality of products and services, productivity, the capacity of the production line, employee performance, quality-of-work-life, market share, and competitive position. Another reason is reducing production development time, waste of inventory, work in process, cost, delivery times, employee turnover, and complaints.

Sadikoglu and Olcay (2014) suggest discovering the barriers to TQM can be used for the firms who are in the planning or early stages of TQM practices to improve awareness and understanding of its principles. They can also be utilized for the companies who have already used TQM for some time to assess the progress and to improve their organizations. TQM practices improve various performance measures in the firms. All aspects of TQM practices should be managed in a company because each factor in TQM practices improves different aspects of firm performance (Sadikoglu and Olcay, 2014). The synergy among the TQM elements brings about exceptional or crucial improvements in the company performances. Companies should improve employee involvement/skill and firm structure and allocate sufficient resources to implement TQM successfully (Sadikoglu and Olcay, 2014).

Table 1

Theories Evaluations

Theory Description of Theory Effect of the Theory on the Organization
Contingency TheoryFRED FIEDLER1958 According to Burns and Stalker (2010), contingency theory is defined as a behavioral theory that indicates there is no one single way to design organizational structure. Furthermore, Burns and Stalker (2010) suggests that the theory mentions that to be an effective leader, not only depend on the leadership style but rather as they handle the situation. Burns and Stalker (2016) explains that the theory approach to the organization design is of organization structure, which can handle uncertainties in the environment efficiently and effectively
Critical TheoryMAX HORKHEIMER1937(Emerges from Karl Marx) This theory emerged from the Marxist tradition and was developed by Germans in the 1930s. The theory focuses on how dominion and power dominates. The theory also teaches that knowledge is power (Seiler, 2010) which means that “understanding the ways one is oppressed enables one to take action to change oppressive forces” (Seiler, 2010) The organization is a domination site (Seiler, 2010).Power – Imposing leaders or management will depend on upon others.Concretive Control- is based on the adherence of socially norms and values developed by leaders or management (trying to attempt to structure the organization


Baird, K., Kristal, J. H., & Reeve, R. (2011). The relationships between organizational culture, total quality management practices, and operational performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 31, 789-814.

Burns, T. & Stalker, G.M. (2010) What is Contingency Theory? Retrieved from

Evans, W. R., Pane-Haden, S. S., Clayton, R. W., &Novicevic, M. M. (2013). History-of-management-thought about social responsibility. Journal of Management History, 19, 8-32. doi:

Faihan-Mossad, S. A. (2014). Impact on quality culture of total quality management practices factors. International Journal of Business and Economic Development (IJBED), 2(3). Retrieved from Retrieved from

Kemp, L. J. (2013). Developments in scientific management. Journal of Management History, 19, 345-361.

Rizer, S. (2012). Total Quality Management Programs Can Fail for Several Reasons, Expert Tells Attendees of WPL Publishing Webinar. Construction Pro Week-Construction Advisor Today, 149. Retrieved from

Sadikoglu, E., &Olcany, H. (2014). The Effects of Total Quality Management Practices on Performance and the Reasons of and the Barriers to TQM Practices in Turkey. Advances in Decision Sciences, 2014, 1-17.

Serban, A. I. (2015). Managing Transformation: Business Process Reengineering or Total Quality Management. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 5, 81-86. 10.6007/IJARBSS/v5-i5/1594

Seiler, R. M. (2010) Human Communication in the Critical Theory Tradition. Retrieved from:

Wang, Y. (2011). Mission-driven organizations in Japan: Management philosophy and individual outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics, 101, 111-126.

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