Introduction and Company Description
The modern business environment is highly competitive. The high tempos of the markets’ development make a great number of various companies and organizations face a problem connected with the increase in the demand for certain high-quality services. In those situations when businessmen focus on satisfying the demands while decreasing the quality of services and increasing the quantity, the competitiveness of the firm also decreases.
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This situation has the negative impact on the functioning of various organizations. Under these conditions, the issue of Total Quality Management (TQM) obtains the great significance as it is helpful to address drawbacks and align the mechanism of the company’s functioning with standards to improve its services and reputation. The framework of TQM can be applied to different departments of organizations to enhance their operations.
For the case of Bahrain Development Bank, the TQM framework should be applied to the Administration Department of the organization that is responsible for managing the departments’ work and coordinating the contacts with clients. The purpose of this paper is to provide the discussion of the elements of the TQM framework in the context of the activities of the Administration Department in Bahrain Development Bank.
Bahrain Development Bank was founded in 1992 as the country’s leading financial institution (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015). The main reason for the foundation of the bank was the promotion of investments in Bahrain and the attempt to diversify the economic base of the state (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015). Moreover, the given financial institution was also aimed at the development of the financial sector of the Kingdom by providing more freedom to its businessmen and citizens.
Nowadays, Bahrain Development Bank suggests various services that can meet demands of a great number of clients. In the course of its development, Bahrain Development Bank enlarged the sphere of its influence on various sectors, such as tourism, health, education, and agriculture among others (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015).
The Administration Department in Bahrain Development Bank coordinates the work of the rest of departments, creating conditions and supplying them with all required resources. Leaders of the Administration Department are only at the first stages of implementing the TQM principles in their work. In spite of the fact that TQM ideas are implemented in other departments of the bank, the Administration Department only starts implementing the framework to improve the operations and activities of the department. At this stage, the pattern of committed leadership is adopted from the work of other departments that implemented TQM (Klement & Michael, 2010).
The main principles of TQM for the Administration Department are formulated by the leaders and shared in the form of a vision among the employees of the department to achieve the higher results while adapting the TQM concept to practice. The committed leadership can also be demonstrated in planning the activities of the Administration Department according to the adopted principles of TQM.
Adoption and Communication of TQM
According to Powell’s (1995) model of TQM, the next process after the formation of the committed leadership in the organization is the adoption of TQM with its further communication. In the Administration Department, the clear mission statement was formulated by the leaders in order to explain the main aim of the implemented changes. The mission statement associated with the implementation of TQM principles pointed at the necessity of improving the level of the Administration Department’s performance with the focus on enhancing the managerial, monitoring, coordinating, and assessment procedures. The TQM goals and objectives were communicated amongst the employees of the Administration Department with the help of face-to-face meetings and e-mails. The TQM principles were also presented as written instructions used to evaluate the procedures in the department.
Closer Customer Relationship
The next step in Powell’s (1995) model of TQM is the development of close relationships with customers. In the context of the Administration Department of Bahrain Development Bank, this element of the framework is correlated with the idea of cooperation of employees in the organization. The main task completed at this stage is the process of determining customers’ requirements. Thus, implementing the TQM framework in the Administration Department, the leaders should discuss the employees of Bahrain Development Bank’s departments as change receivers.
As a result, the leaders need to ensure that all quality expectations of the department’s employees are taken into account and that all guidelines regarding the coordination of the other departments’ work are considered. At this stage, it is important to guarantee that all employees in the department are ready to cooperate and interact with the employees from other departments while performing the activities at the highest level of quality.
Closer Supplier Relationship
In the context of the Administration Department, the development of the relationship with suppliers means the development of the effective interaction with the Human Resource Management Department. While implementing the TQM framework in the organization, it is important for the leaders to rely on the human resources and their developed skills in order to improve the overall quality of activities performed by the Administration Department.
Therefore, if the Human Resource Management Department as a ‘supplier’ proposes the high-class professionals for working in the Administration Department, it is possible to expect the high outcomes of the TQM. From this perspective, it is almost impossible to apply this principle in the context of only one department of the organization, but leaders need to re-think the process in order to make it advantageous during the implementation of TQM in the Administration Department.
It is important to state that benchmarking is one of the most effective strategies and tools in TQM because it enables the organization to compare its outcomes with the best results and practices demonstrated within the market or industry (Talib, Rahman, & Qureshi, 2013). In the context of the Administration Department, benchmarking means comparing the practices and outcomes in the work of the Department in Bahrain Development Bank with the similar practices used in the other banks of Bahrain, as well as reputable banks from other countries. It is important for the leaders of the Administration Department to choose and implement the most effective practices and approaches serving to improve the quality of the department’s work (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015).
Having compared their outcomes and approaches with the practices adopted in other banks, the leaders of the department receive the opportunity to implement the best strategies regarding the work monitoring, coordinating strategies, evaluation approaches, and communication tools. For instance, having found that banks of Qatar apply more beneficial procedures for the administration, the leaders of the Administration Department of Bahrain Development Bank can adapt these processes to their operations.
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Application of the main principles of TQM will obviously lead to the process of change in the Administration Department of the bank, and the workers of the department should be ready to work under new conditions (Klement & Michael, 2010).
That is why, another important aspect of TQM to discuss is the increased training. All workers in the department should have the same knowledge regarding the TQM implementation to achieve the positive impact on the department’s operations (Gherbal, Shibani, Saidani, & Sagoo, 2012). Managers of the Administration Department should be explained the main aim of the program and outlined the purpose of training in order to provide the other employees with the necessary knowledge and skills. During seminars and workshops, the employees of the Administration Department are expected to develop their knowledge of TQM principles and strategies and skills in problem solving.
In his TQM model, Powell (1995) states that to achieve the better results, the company and its departments should work as an open organization, and they should be ready to change some traditional patterns in order to reach the goals. In the Administration Department, the activities and responsibilities are distributed according to a certain pattern, and the high reliance on the hierarchy is observed. These aspects can be discussed as barriers to the effective implementation of TQM in terms of developing the idea of the open organization. Therefore, it is important to adapt the principles of open horizontal communication in the department.
Officers, managers, and other employees working in the Administration Department of Bahrain Development Bank should have more opportunities for discussing openly ideas and giving assessments (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015). The problem is in the fact that communication between employees in the department can be complicated because of hierarchical issues (Islam & Haque, 2012). The department leaders should create the pattern according to which the communication can become fast and efficient.
The next step in implementing the TQM principles is the provision of the employee empowerment. In spite of the importance of hierarchy in the Administration Department, the leaders should enable employees to make some important decisions and suggest their own ideas about problem-solving. This step can help increase the level of the workers’ professionalism and help them obtain more autonomy in decision making. Additionally, while realizing the level of responsibility, employees of the Administration Department will work with the great attention to standards and much devotion. Moreover, this strategy is helpful to train the staff and support the promotion in the department (Klement & Michael, 2010).
In the Administration Department of the bank, the rewards and promotion system is developed, but it needs to be revised in order to guarantee the active involvement of employees in the decision-making process with the further rewarding for achieving positive results.
The leaders of the Administration Department should also admit the fact that no one can predict all possible problems and complications that can appear in the process of the work and different operations. As a result, applying the TQM principles, the leaders of the department should implement the system which will be able to determine various defects in the processes at the early stages (Klement & Michael, 2010).
At the current stage, the assessments and the processes evaluations are the part of the department’s activities, but these processes indicate drawbacks and problems at the final stage when the correction actions can be ineffective. Thus, the implementation of the zero-defects mentality in the Administration Department is more than the traditional inspection, as it turns out to be inefficient and expensive under new conditions (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015).
Currently, the reports on the work of the department regarding the coordination, monitoring, and assessment procedures in Bahrain Development Bank are provided only monthly. The approach to the procedure should be changed to control the functioning of the department and provide reports daily. Additionally, in the case of emergency, the responsible evaluators should be given the authority to act independently and accept important decisions.
In his work, Powell (1995) also mentions the issue of flexible manufacturing as the important part of TQM. It is important to state that the given notion could be applied only to the work and operations performed by manufacturers. That is why, this element is not discussed in the context of improving the work of the Administration Department in Bahrain Development Bank (Bahrain Development Bank Profile, 2015).
The issue of the process improvement can be directly related to the functioning of Bahrain Development Bank’s Administration Department. This element of TQM is helpful to reduce the time needed for the accomplishment of a certain procedure within the department, as well as the whole daily, weekly, or monthly cycle. Although the activities of the Administration Department are based on the schedule of monitoring and assessment, as well as on the necessity to address the emergency tasks and coordinate the work of employees from other departments, it is possible to improve some of strategies used in the department in order to enhance the whole process (Klement & Michael, 2010).
For instance, in order to reduce the time required for deciding on the activities or plan of actions and the actual implementation of steps, it is possible to apply the improved system of communication, information exchange, and notifications in order to make the process quicker and based on the active use of electronic resources.
It is also important to measure the final results while focusing on the previously stated goals and objectives. In the Administration Department, the qualitative approaches to measuring the outcomes and performance of employees are actively used. However, according to the evidence regarding the implementation of TQM in organizations, statistical methods can be suggested to compare the previous results with the new ones in order to see the progress and identify the areas for the further improvement (Wang, Chen, & Chen, 2012). Moreover, the reliance of numbers as a result of measurement allows the leaders of the Administration Department to assess the concrete outcomes of the implemented processes and propose certain steps to change the situation for better.
Total Quality Management framework is usually implemented in different departments of organizations in order to improve the performance and the overall outcomes of processes and operations. While implementing the TQM framework in the Administration Department of Bahrain Development Bank, it is important to pay attention to the fact that not elements can be easily adopted, and the task of managers is to adapt the system to the needs of the department in order to achieve the higher results. From this point, the provided analysis of the TQM implementation in the Administration Department of the bank discusses the areas where the framework can work effectively and when it can be adapted.
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