Total Quality Management versus Corporate Social Responsibility
Ghobadian and Gallear in 1996 defined Total Quality Management (TQM) as a structured attempt to re-focus the organization’s behavior, planning and working practices towards a culture which is employee driven, problem solving, stakeholder oriented, values integrity, and open and fear free. Furthermore, the organization’s business practices are based on seeking continuous improvement, the devolution of decision making, the removal of functional barriers, the eradication of sources of error, teamwork, honesty, and fact-based decision making.
TQM is one of the most durable management innovations of the past three decades, and it has been implemented worldwide in service, manufacturing, private, public, large and small organizations (Ghobadian & Gallear, 2001). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), on the other hand, is a more recent phenomenon and dates back to the 1980s (Carrol, 1991). However, CSR, like TQM, impinges on all facets of organizations
In the field of TQM and CSR, concerns were raised about the degree of overlap between these two powerful and all-embracing concepts. Clearly, if the two concepts have a great deal in common, then TQM, with its greater penetration in organizations of all shapes and size, can act as a key catalyst for developing CSR within the organization (McAdam & Leonard, 2003).
TQM successfully strikes a balance between the goal of organization and doing the right thing in terms of respecting the interest of wider stakeholders (Ghobadian, Gallear, Woo & Liu, 1998). Similarly, CSR accepts the legitimacy of the goal of the organization, but it considers value-based behavior - for example, valuing people and the environment – as the root to sustainable performance. Hence, TQM can play an important part in facilitating a deeper penetration of CSR in a broad range of organizations (Ghobadian & Gallear & Hopkins, 2007).
TQM officers in the organization have the responsibility of ensuring that the ethical basis of quality is not overlooked and that quality management takes a leadership role in promoting ethical practices (Zairi & Peters, 2002).
Therefore, CSR will not simply happen because an organization has TQM: to make it happen it is necessary to have a CSR team/department capable to address the issue explicitly. Moreover, the CSR team will adjust the elements of TQM so that they consciously address facets of CSR (Ghobadian & Gallear & Hopkins, 2007).
Due to a growing awareness of the involvement of corporations in society, companies develop new values, strategies and policies that support their functioning in areas that were once left to others (people and planet). More and more companies accept this new position in society and strive to be proficient and transparent in these issues. In this way CSR is about redefining the role of corporations in society. This development has led to a wide range of approaches that all address social responsibilities of corporations, and also to a growing interest in indicators for managing social performances.
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