1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Today, the universe has witnessed various changes that had been affecting human existence, particularly from the period of Stone Age to the computer age. The full conceptual significance of the modern view of quality cannot be conveyed by such a succinct expression as “total quality”. The adjective ‘total’ is so broad that inevitably it becomes ambiguous; any plausible interpretation could be included (even that of absolute quality, free of defects).
Conventionally ‘total’ is used to indicate company. Wide application, and terms like total quality management or, better still company-wide quality management embraces the entire company and everyone within the company. The term quality management is intended to convey a vertical approach to quality in an organization i.e. quality is a matter of concern for everybody in an organization.
Feigenbaum (1983) Pioneers the total quality message by his emphasis on the managerial and system aspect he opined that: total quality control is an effective system for integrating the quality development (planning) quality maintenance (control) and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow for full customer satisfaction.
Conti (1993) defines Total Quality management as a philosophy of management that strives to make the best use of all available resources and opportunities by constant improvement. Total Quality management is the key business improvement strategy and they key management issue of the future because it is essential for efficiency and competitiveness. He further emphasized that Total Quality management is a corporate business management philosophy, which recognizes that, customers needs and business goals are in separable. It is applicable within both industry and public enterprise.
It ensures maximum effectiveness and efficiency within a business and secures commercial leadership by putting in place process and system which will promote excellence, prevent errors and ensure that every aspect of the business is aligned to customer needs and the advancement of business goals without duplication or waste of effort by releasing the full potential of all employees.
Lucky (1984) sees Total Quality Management as the culture of quality awareness and quality improvement in every process in every level in the organization. He takes an extensional view of quality as compared with the traditional western internal view. The internal view of quality concentrates on ensuring that the times produced conform to their specification with accepted tolerances. The external view on the other hand is pioneered by the Japanese, places much more emphasis on the original design, which the customer ordered.
In today’s global business rivalry, the long-term survival of any organization depends on its continuous ability to satisfy customer’s needs and expectations in respect of the quality of the service provided or products functionality. Total quality management can also be defined as a total company-wide effort that includes all employees, suppliers and customers that seeks continuously to improve the quality of products and processes to meet the needs and expectations of the customers at the lowest overall cost.
The Guardian May 18, 1999 contribute that total quality management is a total way of life, an enhancing culture which drives the entire organization. In order words, Total Quality Management organizationally implores a total company-wide effort involving suppliers, customers, employees, managers and executives in a lifetime process of satisfying each other’s requirement as internal or external customers to each other.
The application of total quality management techniques in the manufacturing sector of Nigerian economy revolves round product delivery. Nigeria became politically independent in 1960 but it took a period of seventeen years (1977) for her to come up with a statement of objectives to guide the citizens. Even ten years later (1987) these objectives are free and democratic society, a united strong and self-reliant nation, a great and dynamic economy and a land of bright and full opportunities for all, then seen as a beautiful dream to be realized, have become a night mare from all indications this dream did not score a ‘pass mark’ on the five objectives which was set some years ago. It should not come as a surprise that we are beset with myriads of problems. Notable among them are: inflation, unemployment, scarcity of goods, high cost of raw materials, dysfunctional communication system, political instability, all compounded further insecurity, bad image, and lack of discipline among her citizens.
Since the manufacturing sector is a component of the social system, it is logical to conclude that it cannot be doing well especially when it is realized that it is perceived and regarded a vital socializing agency. The interesting thing about it is the publication of the first policy on manufacturing sector.
The promise about the implementation the policy some years ago and up till now, what we have is a sketchy and haphazard adoption of selected items on the document by few company’s certain skills and values which would be indispensable to the survival of manufacturing sector, in the new millennium are yet to be incorporated hence the examination of total quality management techniques in the manufacturing sector of Nigerian economy.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Asika (1999/2000) posited that a problem is recognized when a doubt is raised, difficulty is created or dissatisfaction occurs and a solution is needed on this note, the foundation upon which any research work is based is the probing question initiated by the numerous problems which this research undertaking is set to address. Some of them are mentioned below:
– The idea of total quality management techniques in the existing manufacturing sector of Nigerian economy.
– The monitory of total quality control techniques in setting standards in organization.
– Continuous improvement in total quality control objectives, policies and strategies in manufacturing sector.
– Commitment to total quality control training and management.
– The implementation of strategies embracing the process of total quality management techniques.
– Measurement of performance and management horizons to sustain improvement on potential problems.
– The management, priorities and coordination of problem solving activities.