Is TQM Enough For Competitive Advantage? LO22590

Jamal K. Al-Dabal (
Sun, 05 Sep 1999 06:51:59 +0300

Recently, I completed an MBA Dissertation that discusses this issue from
different angles. Here is an extract:

TQM gurus and consultants market it as the best change initiative that
provides organizations with a competitive advantage. They also say that it
is a cure for all problems that companies face. This dissertation provides
intellectual and factual data showing that this is not always the case.
There are areas where TQM provides a needed change initiative along with
others. In addition, once most companies treat improving their processes
as a priority, TQM ceases to give a competitive advantage since it becomes
a basic entry point into the competition.

The aim of this dissertation is to intellectually evaluate the successes
and failures of TQM efforts, drawing on examples in the United States and
suggesting that contrary to what the consultants propagate:

1. It is not a panacea for all problems in organizations and that it fits
all types of organisations, and

2. It is not the only way to give organizations a competitive advantage.

Presented in the dissertation is a discussion about realities in
organizations when it comes to implementing major change initiatives.
TQM^s fit for the services sector is discussed with emphasis on customer
satisfaction. Also covered are some limitations of TQM including
empowerment, times of paradigm shifts, major process changes, and reward

The dissertation reflects on the developing world with a concentration on
Saudi Arabia and how to learn from the mistakes of previous
implementations. The current economic situation of the Saudi industry is
not favourable, therefore cost-cutting initiatives will be emphasised.
Another dramatic impact would be Saudi Arabia^s entry into the World
Trade Organization in the year 2000. What is key is a change initiative
that fits the cultural readiness of Saudi organizations, rather than
importing one developed in a different cultural context and taking it as
is, unchallenged.

If you are interested in a copy of the disseration with a size of 500KB,
pls E-Mail me @

Thanks...Jamal Al-Dabal
IT Planning Consultant, Saudi Aramco

p.s. I must apologize for those who by mistake I sent a copy of the
dissertation without them asking for it. They had to suffer thru the long
download time to get something they did not need. Sorry.

"We fail more often not because we fail to solve the problem we face, but
because we fail to face the right problem." (Russell L. Ackoff)


"Jamal K. Al-Dabal" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>