The use of Chinese philosophies to assist achievement of world-class business excellence
The use of total quality management philosophies and business management strategies are an effort to approach quality process and business improvement as a systematic process. Its human resource theme describes how the organisation involves its employees in the quality and business management improvement effort by educating them about problem-solving tools, techniques and strategies. It also allows them to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs better. The technology and systems theme of TQM advocates the use of state-of-the-art technology that is available and economically feasible to achieve the desired goals. It also helps make use of the best business strategy practices to achieve business success. The original theme of the research project was to develop a knowledge-based expert system that would help in the achievement of a world-class business excellence performance through continuous process improvement. The system so developed would make use of the knowledge of the system providing recommendations to its users as to what quality management remedial actions; quality strategic plans or business management strategies should be taken. The user's quality or specific management problems were initially identified. The system would assist users to achieve continuous improvement to world-class business performance level by using different quality management tools and techniques, gurus' philosophies and different business management strategies. Development of an expert system for achieving world-class business performance through continuous process improvement requires a better knowledge base and incorporating the Chinese philosophies for Eastern culture countries will be advantageous. The gap in knowledge set the scene for the direction of the research project. The gap in current thinking is: • The lack of integration of Chinese philosophies into organisational development towards world-class business excellence • The lack of understanding how Chinese values or thinking can assist achievement of world-class business excellence. There are a number of major objectives in this research project: • Review the philosophies of the quality gurus, total quality management principles and detailed elements of the ISO 9000 quality management system, • Review the quality management improvement tools, in particular the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology for quality management and business strategic planning. • Understand the meaning of world-class business excellence by reviewing the quality awards, in particular the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and The European Quality Award models. • Understand the philosophy of Chinese philosopher Confucius and how this relates to quality management strategy and the economic influences. • Understand the philosophy of Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu's The Art of War and The Thirty-six Strategies, and how these relate to business management strategies. • Substantiate the Eastern gurus' philosophies and hypotheses in business management and strategic planning by surveys and analyses.