The terminology for total quality management is difficult to summarize into a simple sentence definition. However, as Peter Capezio and Debra Morehouse clearly state in their book Taking the Mystery Out of TQM: A Practical Guide to Total Quality Management, Second Edition, reference to it can be simplified “to a management process and set of disciplines that are coordinated to ensure that the organization consistently meets and exceeds customer requirements.
Therefore, it is basically a philosophy of business that founds its principles on customer satisfaction based on two objectives which are to carefully design the product or service and ensure consistency in the design. Orientating the excepting of these two major objectives by all individuals within the organization is necessary, thus the term total quality management .
In Total Quality Management, Richardson also adds that total quality management “is a plan and strategy to extend quality control efforts to every function of the company” and clearly defines each of the individual terms.
Total means that everyone participates and that it is integrated into all business functions. Quality means meeting or exceeding customer (internal or external) expectation. Management means improving and maintaining business systems and their related processes or activities.