Data was gathered from a section survey of ASQ members to determine the obstacles associated with managing a successful quality transformation. The five most significant barriers to TQM were: (a) management's compensation was not tied to achieving quality goals, (b) employees are not trained in quality improvement skills, (c) there are not adequate resources to effectively employ total quality management, (d) employees are resistant to change, and (e) employees are not trained in problem identification and problem solving techniques. Factor analysis on the ratings of the twenty-one barriers to TQM revealed three underlying constructs: (a) lack of planning for quality, (b) lack of training on quality, and (c) lack of leadership for quality. These obstacles were found to be significantly related to specific potential outcomes that can be used to measure TQM success (or failure). The potential outcomes include frequent turnover of employees, frequent turnover of management, the cost/benefit ratio of implementing TQM, and quality improvement results rarely meet expectations. This provides a useful way to evaluate the significance of obstacles to TQM success, and therefore, provides guidance and direction for developing strategies for an effective quality transformation.
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