The implementation of total quality management: a case study of a construction company in Zimbabwe.
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In the construction industry and services, total quality management (TQM) is recognised as a productive management philosophy as it increases the quality and production of businesses. Research reveals ways in which TQM can be effectively implemented in the construction industry: aiding in reducing costs, increasing job satisfaction, and promoting healthier customer and supplier relations. This study sought to examine how TQM can be implemented in a construction firm in the most effective and competent ways. The main objective of this study is to evaluate how a selected construction organisation implements TQM using some of the fundamentals of TQM, namely, top management involvement, employee empowerment, organisational culture, communication, and technology, in a developing country such as Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the study investigates the challenges of implementing TQM initiatives and the strategies engaged in the organisations to overcome some of the challenges encountered. The study was guided by a constructivist research paradigm, employing a qualitative research approach. As the study sought to understand and explain how a selected company is implementing TQM in Zimbabwe, an explanatory case study approach was employed. The study used a census research approach. The target population was made up of all managers responsible for implementing TQM in the organisation. According to the company database provided by the Human Resources Manager (HRM), there were fifteen managers involved in the organisation. These managers occupied senior, middle and low-level management positions. The target population and the sample size were therefore, made up of the fifteen managers. However, only seven managers managed to contribute to the study, achieving a response percentage of 46.6%. Primary data was gathered using in-depth interviews. Data were analysed using NVivo software. The key findings of the study revealed that TQM implementation is affected by a lack of top management commitment to business operations. In addition, the hostile economic situation in the country is hindering TQM implementation as most companies are failing to upgrade to modern technology as well as train their employees on TQM activities. The conclusions drawn from this study are that TQM is essential to the construction industry. Therefore, top management should be actively involved for successful TQM implementation. For a successful implementation of TQM, managers should be accountable in terms of the procedures and financial resources. TQM can be improved by operational performance in the workplace. The complete potential of TQM is realised through the training and education of everyone at all levels in order to create TQM awareness, interest, aspiration, and achievement.