Assessment of total quality management in the Saudi construction industry organisations
Total quality management (TQM) has been recognized by many countries to be one of the keys to competitiveness. Organizations in other industries are increasingly using self-assessment instrument to drive continuous improvement and direct the TQM journey in moving the organizations towards business excellence. In Saudi Arabia, many organizations implementing TQM are in need for a self-assessment instrument to assist in implementing TQM properly. There is a clear need to evaluate or assess TQM practices as a key part of the TQM implementation strategy within the construction industry organizations using an appropriate self-assessment instrument. This thesis examined a novel approach for this problem through using Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) as the most suitable TQM model selected among 16 models used worldwide within the construction industry organizations. The developed TQM generic model is based on the selected TQM model with consideration for the Saudi organizational culture and the requirements of construction industry. The criteria in the developed TQM generic model were used as a framework that was translated into a multi-item questionnaire for assessing quality performance. Quality, Assessment Instrument for the Saudi Construction Industry or "QAISCI" was developed and it has the potential to assist in implementing and assessing TQM. It contains TQM generic model, self-assessment questionnaire, scoring system and achievement assessment graph. Statistical testing confirmed that the self-assessment instrument is valid and there is significant correlation between the scores obtained from survey and that obtained from TQM assessors. The research also describes the results of survey about the quality management practices carried out for 112 organizations consisting of clients, design consultants and construction organizations. The level of TQM awareness for construction client, consultant-design, and construction organizations were determined through QAISCL The general level of TQM awareness for the construction industry organizations in Saudi Arabia appears to be "Enlightenment" or exactly in the early stage of "Enlightenment" with a percentage of progress towards full TQM implementation equals to32%. The clients and contractors are realizing that continuous quality improvements have been made and some benefits in the business are visible. Design consultants are seeing the first signs of improvement but still in the early stage of TQM joumey. The research also highlights on benchmarking and provides essential data for organizations. Benchmarking process showed that 13.64% of the consultant-design organizations and 20.94% of the construction organizations could be benchmarked to create continuous improvement. Also, through the study, 57% of the participating organization indicated that the main benefit they found from implementing TQM in the business was "cost savings" and 39% stated that the major barrier was "changing the organization culture" towards a quality culture. In addition, 50% illustrated that "evaluation of performance by merit rating" was the main pitfall.