Based on these definitions and understanding, it is safe to say that both TQM and BPR have covered enough, if not all grounds of management and came up with the methods or initiatives needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness of any organization in particular. However, if this were entirely true, one of the suggested two frameworks mentioned above would have been dubbed the one-best method in improving organizations, thus leaving other styles or framework of management not only discarded, nor would they ever have came to existence. Every distinctive management framework or styles have their own uniqueness and effectiveness which varies when applied to the plentiful variety based on the nature of business. This can be found in a case study, known as “Employees’ perspective on the effectiveness of ISO 9000certi?cation: A Total Quality Management framework” (2009: Routledge).
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Based on the case study, not all organizations that were initially perceived to be successful after the implementation of certain approaches resulted the way it was initially planned. Some had no effect and some even scored lower in a later observation, where as some organizations perceived to not have any beneficial effect instead garnered the most benefits and scored remarkably after keen observations. “Therefore, the meaning of quality will be peculiar to individual organizations with different definitions of quality appropriate under different circumstances.” (Reeves and Bednar, 1994) From here, it is understood that the importance of applying the more suitable framework for any organization is really based on the nature of business that the organization is involved with.
As mentioned earlier, although TQM and BPR undeniably share certain similarities and have a few aspects built around the same philosophers, the end-game, or rather final outcome differs in great lengths from one another. “In fact many of the tools and techniques which have been proved and used in continuous improvement are employed in BPR projects, and a number of the principles and practices of BPR are very similar to those which underpin TQM.” (Dale, 2007)
Previously, before the BPR method was revised, it was frowned upon by many due to its encapsulation of a mechanistic conception of organizations, a concept unpopular among today’s advancement and introduction of social and human rights. If that mechanistic concept back then had not been stopped and were continued without regard of public interest, then the statement ‘Total Quality Management and Continuous Improvement, properly applied, render BPR unnecessary’ is true to its every sense.
However, that is not the case, as the revised concepts of BPR which have emerged suggest a number of corresponding elements between BPR and TQM. This would lead one to believe that it is possible for both methods to survive and serve as a corresponding or prerequisite element for one another. Such possibility has been the discussion of certain philosophers who seem to think TQM and BPR can co-exist with the nature of complimenting one another in the process due to the TQM method of being a continuous improvement where long term investments will yield significant advantages where as the BPR can be used as an act now policy in order to jumpstart an organization to achieve the intended goals or objectives.
Indeed, not only is the timing for BPR to emerge considered a useful one, additionally its emergence coincides with an economic age which is take priority in innovation, speed and quality as the judge or rather, arbiter of competitive edge. However, concurrent emergence of social, work and human rights related issues have also rise swiftly and considered one of the main concerns in everyday people’s lives. TQM on the other hand focuses more on to these aspects as it concentrates on changing the relations among staff members in order to further improve quality which in turn, helps the organization achieve their targets and meet with the customer demands. Not forgetting the continuous improvement that comes with TQM which serves as both a short and long term tool that benefits the organization itself.
This is not to agree with the statement ‘Total Quality Management and Continuous Improvement, properly applied, render BPR unnecessary’, rather, it is to argue that it does not necessarily take one method to trample over the other because both TQM and BPR have their own pros and cons such as the ones discussed previously. However, the possibility of these two methods both co-existing is an interesting observation due to the specialty and uniqueness both methods adopt respectively, which gives rise to the thought that with the amount of businesses and organizations available today, not all can apply the same method and experience the same benefits that other organizations do happen to attain. So goes the saying, “One man’s meat, is another man’s poison”.
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II. Claver, E., Tari, J.J. and Molina, J.F. (2002), “Areas of improvement in certi?ed firms advancing towards TQM”, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 19 (8)/(9), pp. 1014-36.
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