Discuss about the Influence of Globalization on Quality Management.
Globalization is a reality that is seen in all the areas of life and this may call for adapting to a new way of doing things. Globalization has resulted in the integration and interaction of different peoples and cultures as well as governments and economies across the whole world. The main drivers of globalization have been the increased trading between nations and information technology and this has managed to open new windows of opportunity for business. The increased globalization has impacted the traditional way of running organizations as the new paradigm has brought the challenge of managing diversity in culture at the workplace. The increased globalization at the workplace calls for a strategic approach of reviewing quality management theories and principles in their application at the workplace so as to ensure the consistency in the organization.
The principles of management are synonymous with the more famous term of Total Quality Management (TQM) which forms the backbone of management principles across most organizations. The theories that have postulated about TQM are many but for the purpose of this discourse, the theory posited by Deming shall be the main focus (Watkins and Orchiston, 2016). Deming’s theory is based three suppositions which shall be used as the reference point in relation to quality management and how it is affected by globalization. Deming that the following three pillars are critical for successful implementation of quality management in an organization: variation knowledge, knowledge theory and psychology knowledge and emphasis the Shewart cycle of Plan-Do-Check-act as a system that can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the quality management that is being implemented.
Variation knowledge refers to the organization, business or company having an awareness and understanding of the variation (Bao, 2015) occurring and the root causes that triggered the change. Globalization is a major cause of variation at the workplace and causes variations in the way business is transacted. The role of variation that will be considered first is the organizational culture which has to vary to adapt (Streun, 2014) to globalization. The organization will increasingly trade with companies from different cultures and practices will employ staff from different cultural backgrounds as well as be expected to adopt international best practices. These changes will affect the organizational culture and necessitate the organizational culture to adapt accordingly.
The organizational culture can adapt two principles of Deming’s fourteen points of management which are to create a purpose which is constant as well as to have the organizational aim of continuous service improvement and production (Neubert and Dyck, 2016). The organization should create purpose that will focus the employees to the targets that are set even in the face of increased global competition. The organization can also adapt the culture and principle of management that will result in a business process that is continuously updated. The variation in the knowledge that is taking place at the market place will require an organization to shift in the way it formulates policy and strategy which becomes the blueprint that drives the company.
The shift of the organization must move from being a localized mindset to a global mindset while operating in a local environment. Glocalization would be an appropriate culture to adopt so as to look at the world as the desirable market rather than limiting itself to the national or even regional markets (Cullen and Parker, 2015). Using the Shewart cycle, the organization needs to Plan to formulate new management policies, Do a comprehensive internal audit of its management principles, Check the effectiveness of its current organizational principles and then Act with a new set of principles that will ensure quality in its business process.
The knowledge theory calls for having an understanding of what can be known about globalization. This will require the customers and business partners investing in acquiring knowledge about the shift in globalization (Pipan, Gomiscek and Mayer, 2012) and specifically companies with which they are interacting with. The customer needs to learn about the management principles of the company they are doing business with and if its management principles are inclusive of other cultures or not. The customer can then suggest to the management to make changes that would make the customer more comfortable in doing business with the company (Harrigan, 2015). The customer would alternatively shift and do business with a company that has embraced management practices that are more universal factoring the globalization that is visible at the work place.
The business partners can adapt by learning about the business process of the company they do business with so as to know how to relate with such businesses while transacting with them. The business partner can adapt two principles of Deming’s fourteen points of management: adapt a new philosophy (Ehiobuche and Tu, 2012) of business that thinking locally to a global outlook as well as the information competitiveness of their business partners and awarding business not on price alone but on companies that have good management principles. The decision with whom to do business should be done from a holistic view of the business and not from the price consideration.
The new philosophy will help the business partners not only think globally, but also embrace quality management principles that will cushion it in the face of growing global competition. The new philosophy adapted will help them in developing creativity skill sets of cooperation when negotiating new business. This would require investing in the business training that would inspire creativity, improve communication skills and the interpersonal skills that are necessary to function in a globalized marketplace. This training by the business partners is both at the personal level and as business.
The theory of psychology postulates that the use of psychology can be used effectively as a quality management tool by understanding human nature (Springer, 2016). The understanding of human nature within the organization will help the managers and employees to adapt to the globalization that is taking place at the work place. The theory rests on the psychology of identifying human needs and desires which are intrinsic in all people. People are born with traits such as desire to learn, motivation, the need for belonging and freedom as well as the joy derived from accomplishment and creativity. The use of the understanding of human nature will help the following groups of managers and employees to adapt in their interactions at the workplace.
The employees need to adapt to a new philosophy that is ceases the old mentality of continuous inspection by the management in order to achieve quality. The employee needs to develop a personal capacity for quality as a value (Schurr, 2015) which will be reflected in the product which will as a result come out with quality. Adapting to team work will help the employees in the workplace and the skill sets necessary to work and thrive in a team. Cross-cultural competence is one set of skills that the employees should learn in interacting with fellow staff, customers and supervisors who may be from different cultural backgrounds. Employees will also need to improve their interpersonal skills individually in order to optimize the intrinsic traits and values they possess.
Managers need to adapt to a new style of leadership that will ensure consistency of quality management at the workplace. The managers need to appreciate that the organization is a system that can be optimized by improving the interconnected components of employees, customers, business partners, stakeholders as well as the shareholders. The management of the connections within the system is crucial to maintain quality within the system. The managers need to differentiate during this process the difference between information (Borjigen, 2015) which is transient and knowledge, which is foundational. The management needs to adapt a new philosophy of management that deemphasizes control and command to a more flexible adaptation of driving out fear which is a barrier to employees being innovative at the workplace.
The managers should also work on breaking down barriers between various departments which is analogous to the breaking down of geographical barriers as trade deepens across the globe. The whole organization should be seen as one whole team (Sundbo, 2015) and entity in the global market place and teamwork is the paradigm that will ensure quality management and quality products. The managers should also eliminate slogans and exhortations at the workplace but instead focus on directing the employees to work on having a culture of self-directed excellence. The new approach to achieve the above is by substituting leadership for the less effective management approach of the objectivity of management.
Globalization is a phenomenon that is moving the world towards greater interactions that are not limited by time and space. As the geographical limitation which has been a barrier of trade is rapidly disappearing, globalization has changed the perspectives of management at the workplace. The influences of globalization impact both managers and employees in organizations, as well as customers and business partners (Kyriazoglou, 2012). To maintain quality management in business process in organization, each group needs to adapt accordingly in order to remain relevant and competitive in the global market place. This adaptation is important in a world that is increasingly global in doing business.
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