Organizational learning in developing the integrated quality management

Open access

Abstract

High quality is organizations’ competitive advantage. It is beneficial to base this on professional approach, and basic concepts and definitions with scientific foundation. The necessary main concepts consist of quality, quality management, quality improvement and quality assurance. Organizations’ top management is responsible of the quality management decisions and implementations. The present practical situation is fragmented and the implementations are most often based on the instrumental means of the different methodological schools, which is confusing and detrimental to the understanding and usefulness of the concept of quality management. It is not beneficial to build a special system for quality management by only following the requirements of the general standard. This cannot ensure competitive business advantage. In this article, we present an alternative approach that is a natural practical way to realize quality management as the teleological solution, Quality Integration, in which the general and specific quality concepts, principles and methodology are embedded within the normal business management activities. Our Quality Integration is based on the thinking of organizational learning. Its framework covers both running the current business and improving the overall business performance. This model has been used as the thinking framework in practical organizational cases since 1990’s. As the business circumstances change constantly, the organization must be constantly ready to renew through both small and radical changes. This change also receives resistance, and the development takes place according to a multi-phase process towards the new integration and requires a proper recognition and decisions. Principles of the organizational learning can help organizations in a consistent way. Evaluation of the overall organizational performance is an important quality management practice and should take into account performance enablers (processes) and also the results obtained thereof. In our approach, the evaluation criteria emphasize organizational learning and integration. The external context of the organization has a crucial role in achieving and developing the business objectives. The organization’s strategy can no longer be based on the value chains but on finding ways to alter them radically through value networking. The organization is influenced by the true and all-inclusive reality, which differs from the apparent reality perceived by the senses, and which is only revealed through consciousness. Understanding this reinforces awareness and trust that are important factors also in quality management and quality assurance.

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