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Title: Total Quality Management and local government in Canada : practice, problems and prospects
Author: Robertson, Robert W.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3526 8961
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2000
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In recent years, Total Quality Management has increasingly become a management approach embraced by public and private sector organisations worldwide. Although adopted initially by the private sector, Total Quality Management strategies have recently - and increasingly - been used by public sector organisations. However, public sector, particularly local government, experience with Total Quality Management has not been as systematically documented as private sector cases. Implementation issues in the public sector such as, problem identification, including the definition and distinction between the concept of customer and citizen; results; alternatives; and, performance measures differ significantly from private sector counterparts. Identification and documentation of these implementation issues are prerequisite requirements for the improved application of Total Quality Management in the public sector. The purpose of this research study, which was supported by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, is to examine the Total Quality Management efforts being undertaken by local governments in Canada. The analysis includes a survey of Canadian municipalities to assess the general state of Total Quality Management efforts at the local government level. These survey data are compared with similar studies recently completed at the local government level in both the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the research study includes a more detailed review of specific cases to critically assess the use of TQM; and, to provide a "best practices" assessment of the application of Total Quality Management at the local government level in Canada. The intention is to identify the principles of Total Quality Management through the survey and case analysis, which can identify problems and concerns associated with TQM; and, provide a model for other public sector organisations - particularly local governments - attempting to implement Total Quality Management. The results of these inquiries confirm that local governments in Canada are generally cognisant of the principles of Total Quality Management and continue to explore TQM applications. For the most part, Total Quality Management has proven successful within local governments in Canada. In addition, the results suggest that local governments considering Total Quality Management should undertake an in-depth corporate strategic assessment or planning exercise prior to initiation of a formal quality program and recognise their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, the Total Quality Management concepts best suited for any specific organisation, including local governments, must be clearly identified; understood; supported, particularly by managers; and, strategically used rather than the universal application of all Total Quality Management principles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Local government--Canada ; Total quality management