Change management practices in total quality management implementation - a survey of iso 9000 certified firms in Kenya
Globalisation has led to a major shift in the competitive environment forcing firms to seek new ways to forge ahead of their rivals. Many organisations are adopting Total Quality Management (TQM) in search of competitive advantage. While TQM has proven to be an effective process for improving organisational functioning, its value can only be assured through a comprehensive and well thought out implementation process. TQM is an organisation-wide effort to improve quality through changes in structure, practices, systems and culture. The way changes are managed, and the appropriateness of the approach adopted, have major implications for the success of the TQM project. The study sought to determine the change management practices applied by Kenyan firms during TQM implementation. ISO 9000 certification was used to signify presence of TQM. A survey of ISO 9000 certified firms in Kenya was carried out. The objectives of the study were: • To establish the Change Management practices used by ISO 9000 firms during TQM implementation • To establish the main barriers in TQM implementation by ISO 9000 certified firms in Kenya. A total-of 60 firms were sampled through simple random method. 52% of the sampled firms responded. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. The major findings were: Change Management principles are very much applied by Kenyan firms during TQM implementation. The change management practices applied by Kenyan firms are consistent with those in the developed countries. However, Kenyan firms placed less emphasis on the use of change agents, changing reward systems to support the change initiative, celebrating short term wins, encouraging local variation during implementation and dealing with resistance. The main motives for adopting TQM by Kenyan firms is to improve organisational effectiveness, improve operational efficiency, improve competitiveness, support company strategy and improve market image. The main barriers to TQM' implementation are workers antipathy to gathering and analysing data on quality, deep seated culture that is resistant to change and the length of time it takes to implement the change. There are no significant differences in the change management practices in TQM implementation between local, foreign and jointly owned firms. However, differences were noted between manufacturing and service firms on the application of communication, reward system, recruitment and development of employees. Manufacturing firms a~"pliedthese principles n:ore than service firms. The biggest improvements from the TQM program were on internal process efficiency, product or quality, internal communication and profitability.