Research proposal for utilization of TQM

 

Write a Research proposal for utilization of TQM and sustainability of safety and fire consultation company.

 

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of the study is to understand the utilization of Total Quality Management for the sustainability of Safety and Fire Consultation Companies. The study will help the companies in Safety and Fire Consultation (SFC) business in understanding whether the consideration of factors of Total Quality Management will be fruitful for the business in making it sustainable. Moreover, the research will act as guide for the academicians who are interested in conducting further research in this area.
Design/Methodology/Approach
Various research papers developed by other researchers have been consulted to understand the research that has been done in this field so far. Moreover, a questionnaire was prepared in relation to the research question and will be distributed to the target respondents who are in the SFC industry.
Findings
The study has just reached preliminary stage of understanding the topic by referring to the various research papers. The research papers have helped in developing the research model where the various factors of TQM have been identified. These factors led to the development of certain hypotheses which will be proved or disproved using the primary data collection and analysis.
Practical Implications
It is expected that the results obtained through this research will have fruitful implication for the companies working in the SFC industry. It will help them understand the organizational factors related to quality which need to be discarded and those that need to be embraced for the continued sustainability of the organization. 
Originality/Value
The current research will help the companies build a sustainable business that can tackle the future challenges more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, it will help the companies to build better strategies after analyzing the current situation and the goal it wants to achieve in the future. 

Introduction

Total Quality Management refers to the way companies can manage the overall quality of their business, improve the product quality, and satisfy the customers’ demand (George and Weimerskirch, 1998). There is belief that the sustainability of the companies can be ensured when the companies rely on managing the qualities within the business. However, there are most of the areas that need to be considered which have been rarely covered through the various researches in the past. The paper has tried to understand the importance of total quality management with the Safety and Fire Consultation Company and its sustainability. 
This paper has identified some of the problem areas that have been discussed in the next section. Moreover, the rest of the section is concerned with developing the research model, questions, and objectives which will guide the paper ahead. Moreover, suitable hypotheses have been developed based on the literature studies and the methodology has have been devised which will be used to conduct the whole research. 

Problem Statement

The Safety and Fire Consultation Companies are established keeping in purview the need of the customers in understanding the issues they can face in implementing the processes to ensure proper fire safety and security. Though there is concern about the use of Total Quality Management as a management tool within the company to ensure that the company sustain for the longer period. 
Such companies care about the other companies’ and organization’s fire and safety issues. Therefore, it becomes imperative that its own processes are up to the mark so that it can deliver the result with complete reliability. 
Considering the above in purview, the problem of managing the internal process in a better way and desire to implement Total Quality Management for Sustainability will be the major area for the discussion throughout this research.

Research Model

The model below shows the various factors that contribute to the total quality management and the way the overall factors combined develops to the sustainability. The model depicts continued process improvement, cultural improvement, employee commitment, customer focus, management commitment, and education and training as the vital factors of TQM which eventually converts into sustainability of the business. These factors have been identified through the consultation of various literatures which have been discussed in the Literature Review section.

Research Questions

Mentioned below are the research questions that have been developed for this paper:
-    Why TQM is important within an organization?
-    What are the factors that contribute to TQM?
-    What are the factors that contribute to Corporate Sustainability?
-    What can be expected after following through TQM within an organization?
-    Whether achievement of sustainability is possible through TQM?

Research Objectives

Mentioned below are theresearch objectives that will be achieved through this research study:
-    To identify the factors that are important for Total Quality Management
-    To understand the correlation between TQM and the Corporate Sustainability
-    To understand the importance of total quality management for the organization as a tool of sustainability

Hypotheses

Mentioned below are the hypotheses that have been developed after the thorough study of the literatures which have been reflected in the next section:
-    H1: Continued process improvement within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H2: Cultural improvement within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H3: Employee commitment within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H4: Customer Focus within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H5: Recognition and Rewards within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H6: Management Commitment within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H7: Education and Training within the organization leads to sustainability
-    H8: Total Quality Management within the organization leads to sustainability

Significance of Research

The research which is being conducted is for the Safety and Fire Consultation Companies that are operating in the country. The research will help these companies understand the importance of total quality management and whether the implementation of factors concerned with the total quality management will be beneficial for them. Moreover, the research will act as the roadmap for the future researches that might be conducted in this field. The research will investigate the various factors, as stated earlier, and will try to understand whether they are suitable for the companies to adopt and improve their sustainability. In nutshell, it can be stated that the current research paper will act as the guiding light for the Safety and Fire Consultation companies and other organizations in general. Moreover, the individuals from academic field will also find this research beneficial and fruitful if they intend to research in the same field.

Literature Review

Alex Douglas (2000), in his research has stated that almost 85 percent of the businesses terminate their operations each day around the world every day. The researcher has vaguely indicated that the inclusion of proper quality management within the organization could have helped these organizations sustain in the competitive environment. Some of the researchers (Kanji et al, 1999; Porter and Parker, 1993; McAdam, 1999; Yusof and Aspinwall, 1999) have defined the Total Quality Management consisting of various factors. These factors have been identified in the discussion further. The process of total quality management refers to focusing or implementing the things that are poised to improve the overall performance of the company and make it compete actively in the market. It is believed that managing the quality of all the important aspect of the business converts into building stronger company and achieving things in a better manner (). The continuous change in the business scenario has also changed the way things used to work in earlier days. The technologies or the processes that are considered world class at present by the businesses around the world might go obsolete in the decades to come. Therefore, reliability on only one aspect of the business does not work out much as there are advancements poised to make it useless in the days to come. This pushes the companies to continuously strive to learn new aspect of each of the functionality being conducted in the business. The act of stagnation might leave the company or the organization to perish. Total Quality Management does not refer to the act of getting certified on the quality aspect from some outside agencies. It is about the consideration of doing the right thing and that too efficiently. 

Continued process improvement is being considered as the one that has major implication on the business effectiveness. It is considered that the businesses that continuously strive for the improving its process, generally do good in the longer time as it effectively strengthens its quality. Moreover, it has been realized by some of the researchers (Powell, 1995; Tata and Prasad, 1998; Sureshchandar et al, 2001) that striving towards improving the operational or other processes leads to the increase in the pace of conducting daily businesses and stay ahead of the competitors. 

Cultural improvement has also been identified by some of the researchers (Lawler et al, 1992; Flood, 1991; Boaden, 1997) as the way to improve the way people behave, act, and work within the organization and achieve certain goals and objectives. Moreover, it has been identified that the organizations those have appreciable culture, attracts good employees which eventually converts into longer run up of the companies by beating the competition in the race with the help of better human resources.
Employee commitment and the management commitment have also been identified as the most important aspect (Sulsky, 1999; Mowday et al, 1979). The commitment from the employees generally depends on the way employees are treated within the organization and thus greatly relates to the cultural improvement. The commitment from the management is what makes the organization effective as the employees understand that management is supportive and willing to support their actions. Moreover, the employees feel motivated and commit more to the organization when their efforts are recognized and they are rewarded adequately. It has been observed by most of the researchers (Wong, 1999; Sun, 1999; Koch and Fisher, 1998) that providing proper training and education to the employees eventually converts to benefitting the organization in return. These elements help the organization fight competition in a better way with the help of improved and committed human resources. 
Some of the researchers (Hackman & Wageman, 1995; Samson & Terziovski, 1999; Agus et al, 2000) have observed that driving the whole organization towards the customers can also improve the organization to greater extent. The satisfied customers tend to revisit the company or refer someone which eventually grows the company further. Therefore, investment on the customer satisfaction and continuous training of the employees to focus on the customers is likely to raise the organization to a whole new level. TQM, if done properly, automatically transforms into the satisfied customer group and improvement in the overall performance of the businesses. The relation between the total quality management and the satisfaction of the customers is cause and effect process. 
In summary, it can be stated from this literature review that factors such as continued process improvement, cultural improvement, employee commitment, customers focus, recognition and reward, management commitment, and education and training tend to improve the quality of the overall organization and help the company fight the competition. However, there is no direct correlational study regarding the TQM and the sustainability. This research is focused on filling the same gap.

Research Methodology

The research methodologies are concerned with the developing the way that can be followed through while involving in a study. The study is concerned with considering primary and secondary approach for the study. The literature review above has helped in preparing right hypotheses which needs to be proved or disproved to reach certain conclusion. Primary research has been considered for the purpose of data collection from the various respondents and then analyzing those data using specific statistical tools to reach the results. The secondary research was concerned with the collection of previous research papers developed by various researchers and conducting a comprehensive study in quest to find out the answers to the defined research questions. However, the research papers failed to satisfy the need and ground zero analysis seems evident. The sections ahead discuss the population size that has been decided to collect the data, design of the sample, collection of data, and the methods to analyze the data. Prior to getting into the aforementioned areas, it would be wise to understand the various methods in detail and select the best fit among them.
The two research methodologies, primary and secondary researches are primarily referred to when the research process begins. 

Primary Research

Primary research refers to the collection of the field data directly from the respondents and then analyzing those data to reach certain conclusion. The primary research is most often conducted when the researcher utilizes the secondary research (explained later) to gain certain perspective and build some hypotheses to take the study further. The primary research aids the researcher in finding something out of the blue which has never been discussed before, or it just supports or rejects the hypotheses developed so far. This research paper has considered similar pattern. The initialization of the research was through consulting various secondary resources and then building on those studies to reach hypotheses (described earlier). The data collection within the primary research is achieved through various methods such as taking telephonic interview of the respondents, observing the individuals under experiment for certain duration and collecting relevant data, distributing questionnaire to the identified respondents, and others. This research paper has considered distribution of questionnaire as the suitable method for the data collection. 

Secondary Research

The secondary research refers to consulting the researches that have been conducted previously and building upon those. It also refers to use of the secondary data sources from the various government and private agencies that engage in data collection for various purposes. The major area in the secondary research is about visiting through the researches related to concerned topic form the already done studies and then analyzing the information collected to find any gaps or reach certain conclusion after the careful analyses. These studies mostly form background for further research, that is conducting primary research, and identify or prove the various factors. This paper has followed somewhat similar pattern for the study of the topic. The researcher consulted the previous research papers that were directly or indirectly related to the subject being discussed here and then forming hypotheses.
As this research is concerned with understanding the social aspect, therefore consideration of two major approaches in this category – positivism and interpretivism – is suggestible.

Positivism

Researchers oriented towards positivist method prefer the quantitative aspect of data collection and research conduction. The belief is that data collected on field are more accurate and reliable. The researchers use data collection tools such as social surveys, structured questionnaires and other official statistics that can support in the analysis. The positivist approach normally rely on bringing in huge amount of survey data or other quantitative data sets and then conducting intricate statistical analyses on them to reach conclusions. The positivist approach mostly relies on looking the relational aspect of the variables employed in the study. This research paper has relied on this approach – the positivist approach – for the research conduction. The paper has developed certain questionnaires that will be sent to the target groups. The data collected will be of quantitative in nature to some extent which will be analyzed using the statistical tools such as correlation and the relationship among the variables will be understood. 
Interpretivism
Quite contradictory from positivism, interpretivism states that people are not puppets and cannot be quantified within certain data sets. It states that the respondents or the individuals to be studied are normally impacted by various external forces which impacts the way they react to certain stimuli in certain situation. Moreover, the individuals act and behave in complex manner and the level of interpretation differs among the various personality types. The individuals are more intricate then a data set can reveal. Therefore, the interpretivists have suggested that if the researchers prefer to understand and study the human characteristics or human aspects then it would be wise to consider observing the situation from the eye of the individuals directly involve in certain activity. The interpretive method is highly qualitative in nature and generally depends on observing the respondents or conducting interviews that are not in particular structure. 

Research Design

The research design for this paper achieved a suitable procedure as required by the topic in the discussion. The research initiated with clear identification of research problem and then it was justified why the research is being conducted and its significance for the suitable audience. Moreover, various research papers vaguely or completely related to the research topic has been analyzed and certain hypotheses have been reached. The sub-sections ahead takes care of the rest of the research design which is about describing the methods that can be employed to analyze the data from the chosen sample size. These methods are supposed to prove whether the hypotheses defined in the beginning are true or false. 

Population

As stated earlier that the primary data is required for the further study, therefore a population needs to be identified whom the questions will be asked to understand the subject. Moreover, as the research is primarily concerned with the Safety and Fire Consultation Company in the country. Therefore, the population that will be considered for the research will have following characteristics:
-    Population is employed in the Safety and Fire Consultation industry
-    They are into the industry for not less than 5 years and has held any type of key positions within their respective organization. The key position referred here is at least above the middle level managers.

Sample Design

The sample size that will be considered for the study will be hundred in number. The questionnaire distributed will be more than hundred; it can be even 150 questionnaire distribution. The reason behind this is the consideration that the most of the respondent might not turn up the response or the questionnaire might not reach them in the first place. Whatever, be the situation, it has been decided that hundred will be final response list after removing the entire partially filled questionnaire or subtracting the responses not received. The number 100 has been decided for the brevity of the research and calculation. 
Moreover, the convenience sampling method will be employed to collect the data. The convenience sampling has been used so that it will allow the researcher to collect data from the population easily available for the data collection. The action is intended to save time and money. 

Data Collection

The data collection will be done by using the questionnaire prepared by the researcher. The questionnaire will be focused on collecting the various data sets related to the respondents such as the number of years they have spent working in the industry and the number of times they have held key positions. 
The collection of data will be done by distributing the questionnaires to the respondents through the emails and they will be given ample amount of time to respond to the questionnaire. It will be on the respondents’ discretion that whether they want to respond to any specific questions in the provided sheet. The data collection will be done for in 3-4 months. This time phase has been taken as most of the time the researcher might have to do continuous follow up to get the questionnaire filled. 

Data Analysis

The data analysis will be conducted using the SPSS software. The SPSS version 16.0 will be used for the study as the current version is not available with the researcher. The SPSS software is being distributed by IBM for the purpose of data analysis. The collected data will be passed through descriptive and correlation analyses. The former will help in taking a bird’s eye at the data set and the later will help in understanding the correlation between the various variables chosen for the study and the strength of relationship between them.

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References

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