Knowledge management – The next generation of TQM?
Total Quality Management and Business Excellence
During the past few decades, TQM principles were universally accepted as a means of improving overall organizational performance, and the nature of each organization, its specific marketplace challenges, usually defined the boundaries of implementation. Back in the 1990s, an attempt was made to downsize and re-engineer organizational processes in order for organizations to become leaner, while at the same time remaining competitive in the fast moving global marketplace. Re-engineering was
... entally a structured coordination of people and information, based on a conviction that corporate knowledge could be contained in technological systems. However, both, instead of posing a challenge to the TQM approach, resulted in a critical loss of knowledge and expertise from organizations. Today, the Knowledge Management (KM) approach is poised to replace the TQM as a quality approach measurement tool. Leveraging corporate knowledge in order to gain competitive advantage in the global marketplace is not just a matter of knowledge creation or innovation. It must be built on a foundation of challenging what is true and what nurtures the organization. If the KM approach can hold onto its ability not to regard blindly all knowledge as true, and not to repeat some of the TQM mistakes of impracticability and exaggeration of achievement, then it has the potential to replace the TQM in the near future.