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    The manufacturing TQM andservice quality literatures:synergistic or conflicting

    paradigms?Rhian Silvestro

    Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Warwick, UK

    IntroductionAlthough most of the exponents of TQM explicitly claim that TQM istransferable to services, the precepts and practices have been derived from theexperience of consultants and practitioners in manufacturing. Both the US and

    Japanese gurus focus and address their work primarily to manufacturers,with application of TQM in services only given secondary attention. AsAlbrecht (Albrecht and Bradford, 1990) puts it, these contributors were born ina manufacturing era, and they have a predominantly manufacturing mindset attheir foundation.

    Yet, despite its manufacturing origins, both academics and practitionershave, over the past 15 years, been concerned to apply and transfer TQMprinciples and practices to services. However, the inadequacy of the literature inguiding service managers and transferring the TQM principles, managementtools and techniques to service environments has become a familiar theme (seefor example, Albrecht and Bradford, 1990; Feigenbaum, 1988; Ghobadian andSpeller, 1994). Many of the tools and techniques are quantitative and havelimited application in service environments where the deliverables are oftenintangible, heterogeneous and their consumption and delivery simultaneous.

    In part no doubt to address this deficiency, the service quality literature hasevolved over the past 15 years mainly in the fields of service marketing andoperations management. Although influenced by TQM thinking inmanufacturing, it has been developed separately, by a different set ofcontributors. Indeed according to Dale (1992), there appears to be little close

    collaboration with the group of academics investigating service quality andmarketing aspects of TQM and those researching TQM in the context ofmanufacturing industry.

    In this paper, an attempt is made to compare, contrast and assimilate themanufacturing and service perspectives on TQM. A model of TQM derivedfrom the manufacturing literature is examined, developed and enhanced in thelight of the service management literature; and the contribution of the servicequality literature to the development of many of the TQM principles andpractices which originated from manufacturing is evaluated. This results in a

    International Journal of Quality& Reliability Management,

    Vol. 15 No. 3, 1998, pp. 303-328,MCBUniversity Press, 0265-671X

    Received May 1997Revised August 1997

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    comparison of the conceptual content of both literatures, with a view tointegrating the manufacturing and service conceptualisation of TQM.

    The absence of a cohesive model of TQMWhile TQM has become heavily associated with a number of well-knownexponents, a review of their teachings reveals a miscellany of ideas andmanagement practices, rather than a coherent philosophy or approach. Theliterature contains, moreover, different perspectives, even conflicts of opinion;according to Dean and Bowen (1994) Beyond these differences, the variety andcontinuing evolution of techniques being practised under the rubric of TQmakes it difficult to maintain a clear conception of its meaning (Dean and

    Bowen, 1994, p. 394).There are a number of reasons for the conceptual messiness of this

    literature; these will be discussed in turn.

    Practi tioner or ientation of the li teratureFirst, the TQM literature is practitioner oriented, consultancy driven, and is nottherefore built on the basis of scientific or academic research, but rather onthe basis of the experience and expertise of practising managers andconsultants. The tone of the teachings of the TQM gurus is thereforeevangelical, often convincing the reader by referring to a few illustrativeexamples, rather than proving their validity in an academically rigorous way.

    Unstr uctured and amorphous nature of the TQM li terature

    Each of the TQM gurus have generated different prescriptions forimplementation, and present a slightly different cut of the overall approach,with some common themes emerging; yet TQM can no longer be equated withany one of these approaches, since so many have contributed to itsdevelopment. There has been considerable cross-fertilisation of ideas betweenthe American and Japanese exponents of TQM with close collaborationbetween some contributors (for example, between Shingo and Ohno at Toyota).Not only have many of the Japanese gurus been influenced by Shewhart,Deming, Juran and Feigenbaum, but conversely the later writings of theAmericans make frequent references to the Japanese exponents; for example,Deming discusses the work of Taguchi and Ishikawa, and Juran draws onIshikawa. There is, moreover, a danger in stereotyping the views of each

    exponent since many are prolific in their writings which have spanned 50 years.Juran, for example, is often associated with the classic model of OptimumQuality Costs; yet the fourth edition of Juran and Grynas text (1980) presentsthe more recent, revised model which suggests that quality costs are optimalwhen zero defects is achieved.

    Differences and conf licting views within the TQM li teratureOakland (1989) maintains that many gurus appear to present differentsolutions to the problems of quality management and control. In reality they areall talking the same language but they use different dialects. This statement

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    belies, however, some of the more serious disagreements which exist betweenthe different exponents of T QM. For example, the conflicting models ofoptimum quality costs and Taguchis quality loss function.

    Logothetis (1992) draws attention to some of the differences in the flavourof the TQM approaches advocated by Deming and Juran. He argues thatDeming is more concerned with management education and philosophy than

    Juran and that his approach is much more radical and revolutionary. Jurantends to place more of the responsibility for quality on middle management andquality professionals and he has been criticised by some for under-valuing thecontribution of the worker by rejecting bottom-up initiatives (Slacket al., 1995).Deming, by contrast, places responsibility for quality squarely in the hands of

    all company employees from top management to the hourly paid worker.Juran, like Feigenbaum, is seen as stronger on the management of controlsystems than of people and the human dimension (Slack et al., 1995). Ishikawaand Shingo, by contrast focus much more closely on the human factor(Shingo, 1992) and on involvement of workers in improvement activities. Evenso, this cannot be said to be generally true of all the Japanese contributors:

    Taguchis work is also regarded as generally weak on motivation and peoplemanagement issues (Slack et al., 1995).

    Crosby has been directly criticised by Deming, Juran, Ishikawa and Shingofor what is perceived to be his campaign approach to the implementation ofquality improvement programmes and for advocating quick fix managementgimmicks such as Zero Defect Days which fail to inculcate a long termcommitment to TQM. Deming (1985) and Ishikawa (1985, p. 151) also criticise

    Crosby for encouraging the use of management exhortations to workers toimprove performance and work harder, rather than focusing on providing themwith the tools and techniques to improve the way they work. Yet Crosby himselfcalls upon management to look to themselves when they are looking for thecauses of problems rather than blaming the workforce (Crosby, 1979, p. 44). Isit then the teachings of Crosby that his critics object to or perhaps the way histeachings are in practice translated by his companys consulting activities? Oneshould not overlook, of course, the competitive nature of the qualitymanagement consultancy arena in which many of the TQM exponents are infact operating!

    Finally some of the Japanese contributors to the TQM literature haveintroduced a broader perspective to the concept of quality management than

    their US counterparts. While the Americans are united in the view that theremust be company wide commitment to quality improvement and insist thatimplementation of TQM is the responsibility of all individuals in the firm,Ishikawa, Taguchi and Shingo see the scope of quality issues extending beyondorganisational boundaries and consider its impact upon society as a whole.

    Taguchi, for example, defines quality in terms of loss to society.

    Towards a generic manufactur ing model of TQMA number of authors have proposed models of T QM; however, given thebreadth and relative maturity of the literature, the models tend either to be

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    incomplete and overlook key contributions in the literature, or they stipulateconditions which are necessary for the implementation of TQM but do notunpack the conceptual contents of the TQM approach. Dean and Bowen (1994)are an example of the former. Their trichotomy of TQM, customer focus,continuous improvement and team work excludes, for example, the significantcontributions of the Japanese exponents of T QM in the areas of wasteelimination, error prevention, and the raft of supporting tools and techniques.Oaklands triangle (1991), on the other hand, places customer-supplierrelationships at the heart of his model and identifies three managementnecessities, teams, systems and tools, supported by what he calls the softoutcomes of TQM, culture, communication and commitment. While Oaklands

    triangle outlines the prerequisites for TQM, it does not, however, tell us whatTQM is, that is, something about the nature of the quality system, the teamworkand tools which would be characteristic of a company implementing TQM.

    Similarly the quality systems and awards, the underlying frameworks ofwhich some would consider to represent models of TQM, cannot be interpretedas comprehensive models of TQM. A number of authors have highlighted thedangers of managers mistaking the implementation of TQM for qualityaccreditation, for example, Fowler and Wibberley (1992). Critiques of qualityawards such as Baldrige and EFQM are also well rehearsed in the literature,calling into question their ubiquity and completeness (see for example, Boundset al., 1994, Voss and Cruise OBrien, 1992). Many of the award criteria identifythe organisational areas and processes which need to be evaluated, but they donot stipulate how these should be managed in order to realise TQM. Ultimately

    these systems are, after all, intended to be devices for identifying good practicerather than models of TQM.

    It is beyond the scope of this paper to provide a detailed critique of existingmodels of TQM. For the purposes of this comparative analysis of the TQMmanufacturing literature and the service quality management literature, a modelof TQM is now proposed, which conceptually unpacks the content of TQM as itis presented in the TQM manufacturing literature. The model postulates six coreprecepts which are deemed conceptually central to TQM; these are supported byother peripheral precepts, which can be seen as derivative, or conceptuallydependant upon these six precepts. Table I identifies the main TQM tenetswhich support each of the six core precepts, in contrast with the traditionalmanufacturing approach which they were intended to supersede. The TQM

    manufacturing model, showing the relationship between the core and peripheralprecepts, is illustrated in Figure 1. The main TQM management tools andtechniques are represented on the outer periphery but are not tied to the sixprecepts since so many of them support more than one precept.

    A review may now be conducted of the service management literature whichhas evolved over the past 15 years. This literature may enable us to enhance anddevelop the TQM manufacturing model in the light of current understanding ofthe quality management issues raised in service organisations. A genericmodel, representing the conceptual content of TQM as defined in both themanufacturing and service literatures, may then be developed.

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    Traditional manufacturing approach TQM approach

    Customer orientati on

    Quality defined as conformance or Quality defined as satisfying customeradherence to specification requirementsPrevalence of inter- and intra-organisational Concept of quality chainbarrierInsularity of departments and functions Concept of internal customerMultiple sourcing; suppliers selected Supplier partnerships, suppliers trained inprimarily on the basis of cost; heavy quality practices and required to demonstratereliance on incoming inspection process quality to obviate incoming inspections

    Leadership

    Tight managerial control; managers as Manager as facilitator, coach, trainersupervisorsQuality seen as an operational issue Quality seen as a strategic issueFocus on identification of defects Focus on identification and eradication of theand failures causes of problems

    Tendency to assign blame Emphasis on recognition of success

    Empowerment

    Hierarchical structures Flat structuresEmployees controlled by managers Employees empowered to meet customer needs

    and make quality improvementsQuality function primarily responsible Quality a line responsibilityfor qualityQuality department/function consists Quality function/department consists of a teamof a team of inspectors of quality consultants

    Continuous improvementQuality improvement is revolutionary, Quality improvement is evolutionary: arelying on major new innovations and never-ending journey. Most changes occur inlarge step changes small steps to consolidate occasional major

    innovative breakthroughsQuality improvement is unsystematic, Quality improvement is systematic. A scientificspontaneous andad hoc approach to problem-solving

    Training and education regarded as a Training, education and self-improvement seenburdensome cost as an investment and essential for continuous

    improvementFunctional view of quality improvement Process management: continual improvement of

    cross-functional processesElim ination of waste

    Acceptable quality levels Zero defects/right first time productionDetection of errors Prevention of errors

    Errors hidden Error visibility designed into production processQuali ty measurement

    Quality perceived to be costly Quality is free: costs of quality need to bemeasured

    Quality measurement out-put based Statistical process control used to control process,reducing reliance on inspection

    Performance measurement systems do not Benchmarking used to measure competitivetake into account competitor performance performancePockets of excellence; lack of systematic Benchmarking facilitates organisational learningorganisational learning

    Table I.Comparison of the

    traditionalmanufacturing andTQM approaches

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    Development of the model in the light of the service qualityliteratureIn this section the service quality management literature, which has evolvedmainly in the fields of service operations and marketing over the past 15 years,

    will be explored, with a view to further enhancing the proposed generic modelof TQM. This literature is reviewed in the light of each of the six core TQMprecepts embraced in the generic model in order to identify any furtherconcepts, management tools or techniques which have been developed tosupport the realisation of the precepts in service contexts.

    Customer orientat ionThe TQM gurus each provide slightly different definitions of quality but areunified in their emphasis on a customer focus: achieving quality is about

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    conforming to a specification which is designed to achieve fitness for use by thecustomer. The notion of service quality is arguably even more evasive than thatof product quality due to the multiplicity of tangible and intangible elementsand the subjectivity of customer evaluations of service (Takeuchi and Quelch,1983). Nevertheless, a customer orientated approach towards understandingquality has also permeated the service operations literature. The literature onthe multi-dimensionality of service quality, and customer evaluations thereof, isnow well established (see, for example, Grnroos, 1984; Johnston, 1995; Lewisand Booms, 1983; Parasuramanet al., 1985; Wyckoff, 1984). Comparison of themanufacturing and service quality literatures on customer orientation revealsthat, while they share a customer based perspective on quality management,

    there are a number of differences and asymmetries between the literatureswhich will now be discussed.

    Quali ty conformance. In the manufacturing literature, the definition ofquality in terms of meeting the requirements of external customers was a majorand radical departure from the traditional engineering definition of quality interms of adherence to specification. In services the intangibility of serviceprovision means that services are difficult to specify (Rathmell, 1966; Sasser etal., 1978). Indeed it has been argued that the lack of service specifications is akey failing in services (Levitt, 1972). Shostack (1984) has also argued thatservice managers need a more systematic and rigorous approach to the designof services, advocating service blue-printing as a technique for analysing andimproving service processes.

    In the service literature, then, it is the absence of specifications that has beencriticised rather than the tendency to define quality in terms of adherence tospecification. So, while in the manufacturing literature the concept of customerorientation is operationalised largely through ensuring conformance to productspecifications which match customer requirements, in the service managementliterature, customer orientation focuses much more on the effectivemanagement of customer/supplier interactions, the moments of truth(Normann, 1984). Service management tools and techniques which have beendeveloped in order to support this quality management approach include gapanalysis (Parasuraman et al ., 1985; Zeithaml et al., 1990), service scripting(Tansik, 1990), Critical Incident Technique (Bitner et al., 1990), SequentialIncident Technique (Stauss and Weinlich, 1995).

    Barr iers in the quality chain. In manufacturing the functional split betweenproduction and marketing means that production staff are often physically,logistically and psychologically distanced from the customer. Thus the productspecification becomes the entity which production staff interface with rather thanthe external customer. In services the presence of the customer in the serviceprocess arguably makes customer needs more accessible to service providers andthe functional split between marketing and operations is much less pronounced.In fact a number of authors (for example, Gummesson, 1990) have argued thatservice providers should be seen as the organisations marketers: every customercontact is a potential marketing, if not a sales, opportunity.

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    Nevertheless, the service management literature draws attention to thedangers of service providers developing an inward-looking definition ofservices which overlooks customer needs. Two types of service provider aresusceptible to this pitfall: back office staff who, like production workers, aredistanced from the external customer and may therefore fail to see how theiractivities impact upon and contribute to the delivery of service on the front line(Carlzon, 1987) and service professionals. Service professionals, who havespecialist, technical competencies which the customer is often unable to judge,may set and maintain the quality standards; their expertise being judged bycolleagues in the professional community rather than by external customers(Haywood-Farmer and Nollett, 1991). In this context there is a clear danger of an

    inward perspective on quality developing which could lead to a diminishedunderstanding of customer requirements and views.

    Management of suppliers, in ternal and exter nal customers. In themanufacturing literature the concept of customer orientation is operationalisedin terms of the entire quality chain from supplier, through the network of internalcustomers, to the external customer. The service management literature focusesmuch more heavily on the management of customers, than on supplier orinternal customer management. Stauss (1995) calls for further research into theconcept of internal customer management in services and raises a number ofquestions about the appropriateness of applying techniques usually applied inthe context of managing external customers to the internal customer chain. Inparticular he draws attention to the danger of increased bureaucracy which may

    result from the formalisation of internal customer relationships. This highlightsthe need to develop an understanding of the contingencies of applying TQMtools and techniques to obviate the occurrence of dysfunctional effects.

    To conclude, the presence of the customer in the service process is such amajor variable in the management of service quality that it is hardly surprisingthat the service quality management literature provides a different perspectiveon the precept of customer orientation. While in some ways services may be lessencumbered by traditional manufacturing definitions of quality and by theproblems of distance between production workers and customers, there is scopefor further development of the service literature on management of suppliersand the internal network of customers. However, the service literature onmanagement of external customers is well developed and may indeed becomeincreasingly relevant to manufacturers as their production processes becomeincreasingly transparent to customers (Chase and Eriksson, 1988) and theircompetitive edge is derived increasingly from service aspects of their business.

    Leadership

    Relatively little attention has been devoted in the service management literatureto the issues of leadership in service organisations. As Berry puts it, Much hasbeen written about leadership. Far less is written about service leadership(Berry, 1995). His redress is to devote a chapter of his book On Great Servicetothe subject of nurturing leadership. This is a practitioner oriented text and

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    Berry provides numerous colourful illustrations and anecdotes from US servicecompanies as examples or role models of what he deems best leadershippractice.

    In line with the TQM manufacturing literature on leadership, Berry definesleadership in terms of the ability to support, motivate and coach serviceproviders and his approach is similar to the teachings of the TQM gurus inthat it tends towards evangelism and rhetoric. In fact the treatment ofleadership in other disciplines is much more sophisticated and contingencysensitive than in the operations based TQM literature. In organisationalbehaviour and psychology academics question the appropriateness of such aleadership style in comparison with traditional supervisory control and there is

    an attempt to develop an understanding of the contingencies which makedifferent leadership styles appropriate (Wilson, 1992).

    While there has been little academic research in the area of leadership inservices, there have been attempts to describe and thus learn from theexperiences of some notable, charismatic chief executives and leaders of serviceorganisations (see for example, Kaplan and Rieser, 1994). Perhaps one of themost well documented success stories of this type which addresses leadershipissues is Carlzons (1987) autobiographical account of his professionaldevelopment as chief executive of SAS; although, in Blois words (1992), Thisbook is a how I did it and not a how to do it book.

    Carlzons messages on the question of leadership and the role of managers inservice organisations is again very much in line with the prescriptions of the

    manufacturing exponents of TQM. He stresses the importance of orientingbusiness strategy around the needs of the customer and of flatteningorganisation structures so as to empower front liners to be responsible for andresponsive to meeting customer needs. The role of manager as facilitator, whichemerges from the TQM manufacturing literature, is central to Carlzons visionof leadership: the new leader is a listener, communicator, and educator;managers should perform a support function for the front line staff who shouldbe empowered to act upon customer demands. As Blois (1992) points out,however, Carlzon is not in any way specific about the degree to whichemployees should be empowered, or indeed the precise extent to which anorganisation structure should be flattened.

    Later in the book he admits, however, that during the early years in SAS hisconviction about the necessity of devolving responsibility made him insensitiveto the implications for middle management, many of whom felt threatened bythe loss of authority and control which had characterised their traditionalmanagerial roles. Carlzon raises the problem without offering a solution.

    Like so many of the TQM gurus in manufacturing, Carlzons prescriptionsare universal generalisations, somewhat oblivious of the contingencies whichmay make certain managerial approaches appropriate in one environment, butinappropriate in another. Indeed, the service management literature does notappear to contribute any significantly new principles, practices, tools ortechniques to the TQM literature on leadership. Neither does it differ

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    significantly in the content of its prescriptions, but tends to endorse theuniversalist approach to leadership evangelised in the manufacturing literature.

    Empowerment

    The service quality management literature on the precept of empowerment hasdeveloped considerably over the past decade. It differs significantly from themanufacturing literature in some respects and may, indeed, be said to be moresophisticated in its treatment of the concept.

    Empower ing employees. From the above section it is evident that Carlzonsthinking impinges as much on issues of empowerment as on leadership. It isalso clear that his approach is very much in line with the TQM manufacturing

    literature in these areas; one difference is striking however. While in themanufacturing TQM literature the notion of empowerment is applied to shopfloor workers and focuses on the question of how to gain their commitment andinvolvement in quality improvement, Carlzons service corollary is theempowerment of front line, as opposed to back office, staff. Carlzon focuses onthe empowerment of front liners on the grounds that it is their performance thatthe customer is judging during those precious and formative moments oftruth, and argues that the role of back office staff is to support the front linersin their efforts to meet customer needs.

    It has been argued (see for example, Murdicket al., 1990) that front line staffare often the lowest skilled and qualified employees in a service organisation;indeed this was true of Carlzons organisation, SAS. This being the case, maybe

    the manufacturing position on empowerment of line employees and the servicecase for empowering front liners are equivalent, in that the approach involvesempowering the traditionally least skilled employees in both cases.

    However, the skill levels of front line staff clearly vary between serviceindustries and businesses; and in particular between service process types. Inprofessional services the staff who come into direct contact with customers areoften highly skilled. Indeed in the service management literature professionalservices are often defined as those in which front liners have high discretionlevels (Silvestroet al., 1992); the skill levels of front liners in mass services, onthe other hand, may well be relatively low. This suggests an asymmetrybetween the manufacturing and service contexts which may well mean that,while in the TQM manufacturing literature empowerment of line employees is

    presented as a universal prescription, empowerment of front liners in servicesmay well have different implications depending upon the nature of the serviceprocess.

    Flattening organisation str uctures.The flattening of organisation structureshas been promoted in the manufacturing TQM literature as a means ofincreasing employee involvement in quality and reducing bureaucracy (see forexample, Ishikawa, 1985). Carlzon (1987) is also strongly in favour of flatteningstructures but in a service context he justifies this very much in terms ofenabling front line staff to respond quickly to customer needs and requirements.

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    Murdick et al. (1990) argue that services in any case tend to be flatter, lessbureaucratic and formal in structure than manufacturing companies becausethe span of control is less, probably due to the fact that even the simplest of

    jobs in services (e.g. retail clerk) involve relatively complex tasks, a variety oftasks, uncertainty with each different customer, and decision-makingresponsibility in each transaction (Murdick et al., 1990). Drucker (1988)predicts, indeed, that large businesses will, over the next 20 years, follow thelead of services by reducing management tiers and giving more autonomy toworkers. Certainly professional services tend to be flatter in structure thanmass services (Haywood-Farmer and Nollett, 1991), so there will be more scopefor increasing empowerment through a flattening of the hierarchy in mass

    services than in professional services.Ownership of qualit y. In the manufacturing literature, the existence of

    quality departments and functions are identified as being a cause of a lack ofownership of quality on the line, with production staff taking the view thatquality is the responsibility of the quality department (see for example, Crosby,1979; Deming, 1985; Feigenbaum, 1983). Service organisations do not have thesame traditions of inspection that characterised manufacturing operations,since the simultaneity of production and consumption usually prohibits thepossibility of inspection prior to delivery to the customer.

    Ironically, however, as more and more service organisations have turned toTQM to improve their operations, the introduction of quality departments inservice organisations has become commonplace over the past decade. Well

    known service implementers of TQM such as Rank Xerox Ltd and BritishAirways have quality departments led at director level which are responsiblefor coordinating the implementation of TQM across the organisation. Suchdepartments are, however, generally kept small, since implementers are usuallyaware of the lessons learnt from manufacturing about the importance ofkeeping quality on the line.

    Thus, whereas in manufacturing quality departments have been seen asdysfunctional in reducing process ownership on the line, in services theimplementation of TQM has often led to the creation of quality departments.While it may be argued that there is a need to make service providers feel agreater sense of responsibility for quality, the cause of any inadequacy in thisarea does not appear to be the artificial split between line and quality function.

    This aspect of the TQM literature is therefore less applicable to services than tomanufacturing.

    Sensit ivit y to cont ingencies of empowerment. Bowen and Lawler (1992)highlight two contrasting approaches to the management of human resourcesin services; these are embodied in the works of Levitt (1972) who argued forincreased systematisation of service processes, and Carlzon (1987) whomaintained that giving the service provider freedom to take responsibility forhis ideas, decisions and actions is to release hidden resources that wouldotherwise remain inaccessible to the organisation. Bowen and Lawlerreconcile these opposing views by proposing a theory of contingency whereby

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    empowerment of the sort envisaged by Carlzon is seen to be appropriate insome service environments, while in others a more systematised, programmedinterface between staff and customer is deemed more appropriate and effective.

    They point out that both approaches offer a number of benefits. The benefits ofempowerment include higher levels of customer service and staff commitment,and the consequent advantages of word of mouth advertising and customerretention. However, the costs of empowerment, so often overlooked by theadvocates of TQM, include higher selection, training and labour costs, as wellas inconsistency in service delivery and recovery.

    Bowen and Lawler contend that empowerment is contingent upon a numberof service variables; in summary, empowerment is more appropriate in highlycustomised, professional services than in high volume, mass services. Indeedthis view concurs with Mills and Posners (1986) earlier arguments for the self-supervision by service workers in professional organisations because of theneed for a personal interface between customer and service provider.

    While the manufacturing literature takes a simplistic, universalist approachto the implementation of empowerment, the service literature, then, is coming torecognise that empowerment, rather than being universally applicable toservices, is contingent upon the operational context, and may be moreappropriate in professional services than in mass service. Thus techniques suchas service scripting (Lord and Kernan, 1987, Tansik, 1990), a quick and effectivemeans of training front line staff in standardised and repetitive roles, may bemore appropriate in mass, rather than professional services.

    To conclude, again there is some evidence to suggest that serviceorganisations do not suffer some of the manufacturing barriers to quality.Certainly treatment of the precept of empowerment is quite different in theservice management literature and, indeed, seems to be academically more welldeveloped than that of manufacturing. While the manufacturing literaturetakes a universalist approach, prescribing empowerment as beneficialregardless of operational context, a contingency approach has emerged fromthe service literature which states that empowerment may be more appropriatein some service contexts than others.

    Continuous improvement

    While arguably misguided in other ways (specifically in denying that the

    human factor in service provision, on which so many services compete, can onlybe detrimental to service effectiveness), Levitts paper was influential inheightening awareness of the strong element ofad hocserendipity whichcharacterised service management, when compared to the rigours andsystematisation more typical of manufacturing and production environments.He called for a more scientific approach to the analysis and improvement ofservices processes; an approach which arguably authors in the servicemanagement literature have sought to develop and promote during the past 15years. Thus the continual improvement of service processes has been an

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    important theme in the service management literature; however, the literaturehas done little to further develop the concept in application to services.

    Despite Carmen and Langeards (1980) rather worrying claim that Theeffect of learning and experience on total unit cost has never been demonstratedin a service situation, the service management literature appears to endorsethe need to continually improve services, inculcate a problem-solving approachto service improvement, and invest in training and education, but withoutcontributing significantly new ideas to the TQM literature on continuousimprovement.

    Nevertheless, many of the management practices recommended in theservice literature are motivated by recognition of the need for continuousservice improvement. For example, the last eight years have witnessed agrowing literature on the importance and implementation of service recovery(notable contributors being Hartet al., 1990, whose work will be reviewed in thenext section). While essentially externally driven, on the basis that successfulservice recovery generates customer loyalty, the benefits of effective recoveryare also considered to include the motivation and instigation of continuousinternal improvements. Thus the recovery literature can be seen to support theprecept of continuous improvement in services.

    The concept of process management is also embraced in the service literaturewhich has generated a number of supporting management tools andtechniques. Such tools focus on mapping out and analysing the service processfrom a customer perspective, cutting across traditional functional boundaries.

    Some of the main contributions include blueprinting and service mapping(Collier, 1990; Kingman-Brundage, 1992; Shostack, 1984, 1987); the CPO model(Johnston, 1987); and Walk-Through Audits (Fitzsimmons and Maurer, 1991).

    To conclude, the service management literature has not significantlydeveloped the principle of continuous improvement but has generated a numberof tools and techniques which support its implementation in serviceenvironments.

    Elimination of waste

    The concepts of error prevention and visibility, zero defects and right first timeare taken on board in the service operations literature. However a number ofasymmetries emerge when these traditionally manufacturing TQM concepts

    are transferred to services. Moreover the concepts have evolved differently inthe service management literature.

    T he concept of err or prevent ion.The disjunction between inspection andprevention is a major theme in the manufacturing literature on TQM. Relianceon post production inspection is deemed reactive, wasteful and costly, whileerror prevention and improved control of the process is proactive, leading to areduction of rework and all its associated costs and disruption to the productionprocess, and often obviating the need for inspection (Crosby, 1979; Deming1985; Feigenbaum, 1983).

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    Central to Crosbys zero defects approach is the view that progress inmanufacturing industries has been hampered by the prevalence of the conceptof acceptable quality levels, which has lead to a complacent and reactiveapproach to quality management. Crosby applies the concept of AQLs toservices in order to highlight its absurdity and its potential dangers. He asks usto consider the AQLs which one might consider appropriate in the followingcontext: How about the nurses that care for newborn babies? Would an AQL of3 per cent on mishandling be too rigid? (Crosby, 1979, p. 146). The point ispowerfully brought home. But its implications may go beyond Crosbysintended assertion.

    Not only is the concept of AQLs not appropriate in this particular service

    context, but, thankfully, it is a concept which is not usually adopted by theservice providers concerned. Indeed, in services where much of the deliverableis intangible, the challenge for service managers has been quantifying qualitylevels in the first place, rather than overcoming any assumptions about AQLs.In services, then, the concept of AQLs is less predominant than has traditionallybeen the case in manufacturing environments and services seem to be lessencumbered by this concept than manufacturing.

    A paradox of the manufacturing TQM literature is that SPC is heavilypromoted as a means of quality control, yet, according to Crosby, its adoptioncan lead to complacency with quality, whereby production staff accept certainlevels of poor quality instead of continually narrowing the zone of tolerancebetween confidence limits. Thus, the application of SPC has perpetuated the

    notion (and abuse) of AQLs despite the fact that SPC is central to the teachingsof the TQM gurus. In view of the fact that SPC can only be applied in a limitedway in service organisations (i.e. to those aspects of service which canmeaningfully be quantified and statistically analysed), this might be a furtherreason why the concept of AQLs is less ingrained in the practices of servicemanagement. Arguably, the challenge for service managers always has beenreal time process control and error prevention.

    In service organisations one of the important messages of TQM which hasbeen taken on board is the need to measure quality in order to control it. But thefocus on quantification of quality levels, and of rating even intangible aspects ofservice quality, has in effect created an opportunity for service organisations tostart stipulating acceptable quality levels. As SPC becomes more widelyadopted to measure the quantifiable aspects of service quality, servicemanagers need to be aware of the dangers of reliance on AQLs leading tocomplacency about poor quality. This suggests a possible trend quite thereverse to that observed in manufacturing.

    T he concept of zero defects. Reicheld and Sasser (1990) maintain that theservice corollary of zero defects is zero customer defections. They argue that,

    just as errors and product defects can be immensely expensive inmanufacturing environments, customer defections are costly to serviceorganisations and identify a number of ways in which such costs may bequantified. Heskett et al. (1990, chapter 3) argue that while some of the benefits

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    of customer retention (such as cross-selling opportunities) are also shared bymanufacturing companies, services derive even more significant benefits due tothe presence of the customer in the service process and the potential fordisruption of the service process by incompetent or dissatisfied service users.

    While the concept of zero defects is relevant to services, in that rework,rescheduling, service delays etc. due to errors are costly in services as well as inmanufacturing environments, the service management literature identifies afurther aspect of elimination of waste, namely, the need to aim for zerodefections. This will therefore be incorporated as a further indicator ofelimination of waste in the generic model of TQM.

    T he concepts of r ight f ir st time and er r or visibil it y. While in the

    manufacturing literature teachings on the precept of elimination of waste havefocused on the need to produce right first time, it is perhaps ironic that overthe past decade the service management literature has drawn attention to theneed to ensure effective service recovery, that is, to make sure that the service isright second time if it fails the first (Hart et al., 1990; Zemke and Bell, 1990).

    Hartet al. (1990) and Firnstahl (1989) draw attention to the internal benefitsof service recovery. They contend that encouraging customers to complainmakes service errors visible, and provides opportunities to improve the servicedesign, facilitate organisational learning, and motivate employees towardsservice improvement. Thus error visibility also features importantly in theservice quality literature, though the literature tends to focus on mechanismssuch as service guarantees and complaints procedures, which enable

    customers to highlight errors during or after the service process, rather thanthe internal poka-yoke which are described in the manufacturing literature(Shingo, 1986).

    Hart et al. (1992) recognise some of the contingencies which render theimplementation of service guarantees more or less appropriate. Whilemaintaining that service guarantees can sometimes be used effectively todifferentiate professional services, they highlight some of the risks anddisadvantages of implementing explicit guarantees. Explicit guarantees mayundermine customer confidence, particularly when customers routinely expectexcellence of service; they may also conflict with a professional servicessophisticated, prestigious image, or give the impression that the firm is beggingfor business. A contingency is therefore proposed in the application of serviceguarantees: explicit guarantees being likely to be powerful differentiators anddrivers of operational improvement in mass services, while implicit guaranteesmay be appropriate in professional services.

    Given the standardised nature of mass services we might, moreover, expecttheir service recovery systems to be more highly proceduralised than thoseimplemented in professional services, where each complaint is likely to beunique and to require individual, personal handling (Fitzgeraldet al., 1991). Theback office orientation of mass services may also make the manufacturingapproaches to error visibility and prevention more easily transferable to massservices than professional services.

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    To conclude, the service quality management literature offers a differentperspective and enhanced understanding of the precept of elimination of waste.While error prevention rather than detection is a key message from themanufacturing literature, in services real time process control and errorprevention have always been the challenge. The concept of AQLs which, it hasbeen argued, has hampered quality management in manufacturing is lessengrained in services; indeed it is perhaps ironic that there is a danger that theincreased focus on specification and measurement of service levels whichadoption of TQM engenders, may in fact nurture an acceptance of the notion ofacceptable quality levels in service contexts where it was not previouslyespoused. The service recovery literature, an important theme in the service

    literature of the past decade, focuses on developing mechanisms whichfacilitate error visibility by customers; and an understanding of the differentservice contexts in which such devices are applicable is developing.

    Quali ty measurementThe key themes which emerge from the TQM manufacturing literature onquality measurement are statistical process control, cost of quality, andbenchmarking. Each of these will now be discussed in turn in the context of theservice quality management literature.

    Stati stical pr ocess cont r ol.The manufacturing literature on qualitymeasurement focuses heavily on the application of statistical process control. Anumber of service management authors have called for the increased

    application of SPC in services and empirical field studies document someattempts at implementation (see for example, Demos and Demos, 1989; Wood,1994). In advocating the application of SPC in non-manufacturingenvironments, Oakland observes that Data is data, and whether the numbersrepresent defects or invoice errors, the information relates to machine settings,process variables, prices, quantities, discounts, customers or supply points isirrelevant, the techniques can always be used (Oakland, 1989, p. 226).

    Nevertheless, while SPC is clearly relevant to the measurement of some hard,quantifiable aspects of service quality, its implementation would never generatecomplete information as to the quality levels delivered by service organisationssince so many aspects of service offerings are intangible. The scope forapplying SPC is likely to be greatest in back office, high volume servicesprocessing large numbers of transactions. In professional services the intrinsicvariability of the service process caused by the high level of processcustomisation may render the very objectives of SPC, namely of eliminatingprocess variation, inappropriate.

    The inherent difficulty in measuring service quality, given the heterogeneity,simultaneity and intangibility of services has been repeatedly commented uponin the service management literature since Rathmells (1966) paper on servicesmarketing. Over the past 15 years service management authors haveconsistently been calling for the use of more proactive measurement systemsthan the reactive and inadequate but commonly used measure of customer

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    complaints. Voss et al. (1985) stress the need to adopt both hard (quantitative)and soft (qualitative) measures of service quality; while Silvestro et al. (1990)and Collier (1990) argue that service quality must be measured both internallyand externally.

    Fitzgeraldet al. (1991) argue that key differences in the customer relationshipbetween professional and mass services create the need for very differentquality measurement methods, and suggest that techniques which areappropriate in one service environment may not be appropriate in another. Thussome understanding of the contingencies which render quality measurementapproaches appropriate in different service environments is emerging.

    In the manufacturing literature, SPC is promoted as a preferred alternative toreactive systems of quality inspection. There is some evidence in the servicemanagement literature that service inspections are not necessarily reactivealternatives to process control, but, on the contrary, a means of real time processcontrol. An empirical study of quality measurement systems by Fitzgeraldet al.(1991) reveals that in BAA plc duty managers monitored quality levels bycarrying out inspections and completing checklists assessing quality levels ona routine basis. This was not, however, analogous to post-production inspectionin manufacturing, where quality inspections are conducted prior to delivery tothe next (internal or external) customer. Because of the presence of the customerin the service process, these were inspections of service delivery in real time.

    These, let us call them service process inspections, were being carried outfrequently so that problems could be identified at an early stage and proactive

    measures taken to prevent customer dissatisfaction. It is perhaps ironic thatservice process inspections may be seen as a service corollary to statisticalprocess control in manufacturing, since both are intended to support apreventative approach, and can potentially obviate the need for reactive outputinspections or, in service terms, customer complaints.

    Qual it y costs as the key measure of qualit y.According to Crosby (1979) thecost of quality is the only measure of quality. Groocock (1986) criticisesCrosby in this respect, arguing that the cost of quality is the second measure ofquality, while the first is quality to the customer.

    The US and Japanese exponents of TQM are unanimous in the view thatcustomer satisfaction is the object of achieving high quality levels, to supportcustomer retention, business growth, increased market share and to sustain

    long term business survival. Although they focus on the importance of buildingcustomer requirements into the product specifications, and emphasise the needto listen to the voice of the customer, they present surprisingly few guidelinesor methods for establishing whether or not a customer has in fact been satisfiedwith the products provided. By contrast, the service management literature hasfocused heavily on developing reliable methods for measuring customersatisfaction (for example, gap analysis (Parasuramanet al., 1985) supported bySERVQUAL (Parasuramanet al., 1988); critical incident technique (Bitner et al.,1990) and service incident technique (Stauss and Weinlich, 1995); again we

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    countenance an asymmetry between the manufacturing and servicemanagement literatures on quality measurement.

    Crosbys focus on quality costs may be one reason why measurement ofcustomer satisfaction is not widely discussed in the manufacturing literature;another reason may be that it is perceived to be the function of marketing andsales departments to obtain customer feedback, rather than that ofmanufacturing. In his text on quality management, for example, Groocockdiscusses the measurement of customer perceptions and the handling ofcomplaints in a chapter entitled Marketing aspects of quality. The servicemanagement literature, by contrast, is composed of contributions from bothservice operations and marketing experts; this may partly explain why theissues of measuring customer satisfaction are more fully addressed in theservice literature. Measurement of customer satisfaction can therefore beadded as a peripheral precept in the generic model of TQM proposed earlier.

    Benchmarking.The concept of benchmarking has been embraced but notsignificantly developed in the service management literature; however with thepopularisation of benchmarking frameworks such as EFQM self-assessment,there can be no doubt that both internal and external benchmarking arebecoming commonplace in both manufacturing and service environments.

    To conclude, the TQM manufacturing literature on quality measurementfocuses narrowly on the application of statistical techniques and thequantification of quality costs. The service management literature by contrasthas developed significantly in this area and a contingency approach, indicatingin what service contexts certain measures might be appropriate, is beginning toemerge. Moreover, quality measurement techniques in the service literatureextend beyond the limited quantitative confines of SPC and focus particularlyon the development of reliable measures of customer satisfaction.

    Asymmetries between the two literaturesA number of asymmetries have emanated from this discussion of the sixprecepts of TQM as they are treated in the manufacturing and service qualitymanagement literatures. These will now be discussed in turn.

    T he transferabili ty of manufactur ing quali ty problems to services

    What emerges from this discussion is that a number of the traditionalmanufacturing concepts and approaches which gave rise to quality problemsand which stimulated the teachings of the TQM gurus, are not as prevalent inservices. The following key concepts and practices do not appear to be soproblematic in services:

    the traditional engineering definition of quality in terms of adherence tospecification resulting in an inwardly focused perception of quality;

    the concept of acceptable quality levels generating complacency aboutquality;

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    quality functions and departments creating a barrier to processownership;

    quality control through inspection and detection rather than prevention.

    These were all seen as major barriers to quality in manufacturing environmentsand many of the TQM principles, practices, tools and techniques weredeveloped to counter and supersede these manufacturing approaches. Theseproblems appear to be much less in evidence in the service companies. This isnot to say, of course, that service operations do not have their own peculiar setof quality problems! The intangibility, heterogeneity and simultaneity ofservices remain critical factors in the management of service quality which

    create special challenges for service managers.

    T he tr ansferabil ity of the six T QM precepts to services

    This raises the question, if the problems which prompted the teachings of theTQM gurus are not so prevalent in services, are their teachings thereforelikely to be relevant? A review of the service management literature suggeststhat the six core precepts are highly relevant to services, although theconcepts are developing and evolving in different ways in the serviceliterature. The main differences identified in this paper are summarised in

    Table II.

    Development of sensiti vity to the contingencies of T QM

    A number of authors have drawn attention to an absence of sensitivity in theTQM manufacturing literature to contingencies which might make certainprinciples, prescriptions, tools and techniques more or less appropriate (Deanand Bowen, 1994; Ghobadian and Speller, 1994; Wilson, 1992). Thischaracteristic of the literature is to some extent due to the practitionerorientation, rather than rigorous academic under-pinning, of the literature.Dean and Bowen maintain that the TQM literature needs to be informed andrefined through cross-fertilisation of concepts and frameworks from otheracademic disciplines.

    The service quality management literature has evolved over the past 15years mainly in the fields of service marketing and operations management,and therefore has quite a different flavour to that of the manufacturingliterature on TQM. While the manufacturing TQM literature was characterisedas consultant-driven and evangelical, the service quality literature is muchmore research based. For example, the literature on the multi-dimensionality ofservice quality may be characterised as a primarily academic debate ratherthan a literature which has been developed by consultants or practitioners(consider, for instance, Parasuraman et a l.s seminal paper, 1985, andParasuramans later discussion of this work in 1995). The service literature thushas a sounder academic underpinning than the TQM manufacturing literature;the concepts have been developed more systematically and in this sense seemmore academically rigorous.

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    The manufacturing perspective The service perspective

    Customer orientation

    Literature focuses on the dysfunctionality Literature highlights dysfunctionality of theof defining quality in terms of adherence absence of service specifications; so services mayto specification not be hampered by the manufacturing focus on

    conformanceLiterature focuses on ensuring Focus on management of customer/supplierconformance to product specifications interactions, moments of truthwhich match customer requirementsProduction staff geographically and Back office staff, and service professionals withpsychologically distanced from the specialist, technical competencies, are susceptible

    external customer; marketing function to the danger of developing internally focusedexpected to interface and develop an definitions of serviceunderstanding of customer needsLiterature deals with chain of external, Focus on external customer; less attention tointernal customers and suppliers internal customers and suppliers

    Leadership

    Literature is prescriptive and evangelical; No significant differencesinsensitive to contingencies of contextand leadership style

    Empowerment

    Literature focuses on empowerment of Focus on empowerment of front liners;shop floor workers. implementation (e.g. through flattening

    organisation structures) may have differentimplications in professional and mass services.

    Empowerment is prescribed universally Development of understanding of contingencybetween empowerment and service type.Application of service scripting also likely to becontingent

    It has been claimed that in manufacturing Implementation of TQ has led to the creation ofquality departments/functions have lead quality departments; thus lack of processto a lack of ownership of quality on the line ownership in services not due to staff perceiving

    quality as being the domain of the qualitydepartment

    Continuous improvement

    Concept of kaizen; scientific problem- No significant development of the concept; somesolving approach to quality improvement; tools and techniques developed for application inemphasis on importance of investment high contact service environmentsin training and education

    Eliminat ion of waste

    Emphasis on error prevention rather Service challenge always has been processthan detection control and error preventionIt is claimed that the concept of AQLs Due to difficulty of measuring service quality,has generated a complacency with concept of AQLs is less engrained in servicepoor quality management. Increased measurement of service

    levels which adoption of TQM engenders, maynow nurture acceptance of AQLs

    The literature focuses on elimination of The literature focuses on customer defections asproduct defects well as service defects

    (Continued)

    Table II.Comparison ofthe manufacturingand service qualityliteratures

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    An understanding is beginning to develop in the service quality literature of thecontingencies of quality management practices. Bowen and Lawler (1992) have

    proposed that the appropriateness of empowerment depends upon businesscontext and have characterised the conditions under which empowerment islikely to be effective. Hart (1988) has explored the risks, benefits and designissues of service guarantees in services and Hart et al. (1992) have discussed thespecial implementation issues which pertain in professional services. Fitzgeraldet al. (1991) identify differences in the quality measurement techniques whichare appropriate in professional and mass services. The service qualitymanagement literature is thus becoming much more contingency sensitive thanthe traditional TQM literature.

    Emergent service concepts, tools and techniques

    In considering the development of each of the six TQM precepts in the service

    management literature, the literature is well developed in the area of externalcustomer orientation and there have been efforts to develop effective means ofquality measurement to support this. There has also been some interestingwork in the area of employee empowerment, particularly in the case of front linestaff who are so critical to the delivery of service quality. The concept of zerodefections and service recovery have played a major part in the service qualityliterature and enhanced the literature on elimination of waste. The TQMmanufacturing model may therefore be further developed based onenhancements from the service quality literature as follows:

    The manufacturing perspective The service perspective

    Literature focuses on right first time Literature recognises opportunities of servicerecovery (or right second time)

    Error visibility facilitated by internal Error visibility and service recovery facilitatedfailsafing mechanisms by customer complaints; applicability of service

    guarantees contingent upon service type

    Quali ty measurement

    Literature focuses heavily on application Literature advocates the use of soft and hard,of statistical techniques internal and external measures; SPC has limited

    application primarily in high volume, back officeoperations

    SPC prescribed universally Understanding beginning to develop of themeasurement systems appropriate in differentservice contexts

    Statistical process control is considered to Service process inspections do not necessarilybe proactive, preventative, and preferable imply reactive approach to quality, but ratherto reactive inspection systems ensure in real time that quality does not

    deteriorate. In services, process inspection can beused to support and facilitate error prevention

    In the literature little attention is paid Focus on developing appropriate measures ofto measurement of customer satisfaction customer satisfaction Table II.

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    Elimination of waste:zero defections should be added as a furtherprecept in addition to error visibility and error prevention.

    Quali ty measurement:measurement of customer satisfaction should beadded to the precepts of cost of quality, statistical process control andbenchmarking.

    However, the service literature has provided little by way of furtherdevelopment of the precepts of leadership, continuous improvement, andmanagement of internal customers and suppliers.

    If the manufacturing literature on TQM can be said to be less academicallyrigorous than the service management literature, it must also be recognised that

    it has generated far more by way of practical recommendations forimplementation. Juran and Crosby, for example, have extensively disseminatedpractical, step-by-step guides to theprocessof implementing TQM. By contrast,the focus of the service management literature tends to be the resolution ofspecific academic debates and the development of conceptual frameworks.

    Furthermore, the manufacturing literature provides a wealth of qualitymanagement tools and techniques, many of which are now in common use(Oakland, 1989). Despite the introduction of a number of new tools andtechniques to help manage service operations, the service managementliterature is less practitioner oriented and therefore less practical in its approachthan the manufacturing TQM literature. This can partly be explained by thefact that the service quality literature is considerably younger than themanufacturing literature on TQM, the former having emerged over the past 15

    years, compared to TQMs origins in the 1950s.On the basis of these conceptual and practical developments, the

    manufacturing TQM model can now be further enhanced to include some of thenew management practices, tools and techniques developed in the serviceliterature. Refer to Figure 2 to view the proposed generic model of TQM.

    ConclusionThis paper has postulated a number of key asymmetries between themanufacturing TQM literature and the service quality management literature;these are summarised in Table III.

    While the service quality management literature has clearly beensignificantly influenced by the TQM manufacturing literature, the development

    of the service management literature along more stringent and rigorousacademic lines now promises to enhance and extend our understanding of theprecepts of TQM. As the application of TQM in service organisations becomesbetter understood, and as a better understanding of the contingencies of TQMin different service contexts is developed, it may be that there will be increasingscope in future for manufacturing companies to learn from the TQMimplementation experiences of service organisations. And as the performancecharacteristics of services increasingly contribute to the success ofmanufacturing organisations, the issue will then be the transferability of TQMfrom service to manufacturing!

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    Figure 2.Generic model of TQM

    check sheets

    Attribute matrices

    Service quality mapsCPO model

    Gap analysis

    SERVQUAL

    Servicesguarantees

    BlueprintingSIT

    Critical Incident Technique(CIT)

    Walk-through

    audits

    Servicescripting

    external customers internal customers supplier management seniorm

    anagement

    com

    mitm

    ent

    facilitatingman

    agerialrole

    recognitionofsuccess

    errorvisibility

    errorprevention&T

    PM

    zero

    defectio

    ns

    cost

    ofq

    uality

    SPC

    benchm

    arking

    meas

    urem

    ento

    f

    custo

    mer

    satisfa

    ctio

    n

    involve

    mentin

    quality

    im

    provem

    ent

    qualityon

    thelin

    e:

    pr

    ocessownership

    problem solvingapproach

    training and education process management

    quality circles

    brainstorming

    histograms

    stratification

    Paretoanalysis

    Ishikawadiagrams

    scatterdiagrams

    force fieldanalysis

    process flowanalysis

    kanban

    Poka-yoke

    failure mode &effect analysis

    employeesuggestionschemes

    QFD

    PONC

    CUSTOMERORIENTATION

    QUA

    LITY

    MEA

    SUREM

    ENT

    EMPO

    WER

    MEN

    T

    LE

    ADER

    SH

    IP

    ELIM

    INAT

    ION

    OF

    WA

    ST

    E

    CONTINUOUSIMPROVEMENT

    T

    Q M

    NOTE:Italics indicate that the concept/technique originatesfrom the service management literature

    TQM literature in manufacturing Service quality literature

    Consultant-driven Research-basedEvangelical, prescriptive style Academic, descriptive styleFocuses on practical, routine problems Focuses on increasing the academic, conceptualfaced by production managers knowledge baseFindings based on consultant experiences; Systematic development of conceptualoften anecdotal approachesPrescriptions tend to be universal, rather Some move towards developing anthan context sensitive understanding of contingencyHas generated practical tools and Less practical in terms of providing improvementtechniques for management guidelines for practitioners

    Table III.Comparative evaluation

    of the TQMmanufacturing andthe service quality

    literatures

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