THE IMPACT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ON TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

THE IMPACT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ON TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

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ABSTRACT

This project focuses on exploring the Total Quality Human Resource Management practices at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Limited In the service industry, the success or failure of the organisation depends on how they fulfill consumers’ needs and wants. The main purpose of this study is to determine the impact human resource management on total quality management. This study in an assessment of the purpose used deductive approach in which qualitative and quantitative surveys were carried out on the employees and patients in the U.I.T.H. The survey was intended to get their responses on what they feel about the quality of services they get from the hospital. In this light, the study sets to identify the perception of employees and patients about the implementation of TQM by HRM. The research design carried out is a Case Study research design. Primary data was collected employees of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Limited through a structured questionnaire and interviews. Secondary data was gathered from academic publications, internet and the website of U.I.T.H. Statistical tools such as tables, means and standard deviations have been used for the purpose of analysis. The findings of the study were arrived at based on the analysis conducted. Some of the major findings of the study related to a great appreciation of an excellent working environment, inherent teamwork, open communication, quality products and positive image enjoyed by U.I.T.H and availability of opportunities to support growth and development within the organization. Some of the suggestion of the study are to develop an in-house training program for new employees to support induction, aggressively work on succession planning, giving priority to internal employees when recruiting before advertising externally, improve on rewards and recognition and provide sufficient budget for training. The study concluded that to a large extent, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital practices various TQHRM activities and has the potential to be more competitive and effective if proper action is taken on the suggestions made in this study.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

The concept of quality has existed for many years, though it’s meaning has changed and evolved over time. In the early twentieth century, quality management meant inspecting products to ensure that they met specifications. In the 1940s, during World War II, quality became more statistical in nature. Statistical sampling techniques were used to evaluate quality, and quality control charts were used to monitor the production process. In the 1960s, with the help of so-called "quality gurus," the concept took on a broader meaning. Quality began to be viewed as something that encompassed the entire organization, not only the production process. Since all functional were responsible for product quality and all shared the costs of poor quality, quality was seen as a concept that affected the entire organization.     

Wilkinson (2008), the meaning of quality for businesses changed dramatically in the late 1970s. Before  then,  quality  was  still  viewed  as  something  that  needed  to be  inspected  and corrected. However, in the 1970s and 1980s many U.S. industries lost market share to foreign competition for examples in the auto industry, manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda became major players. In the consumer goods market, companies such as Toshiba and Sony led the way. These foreign competitors were producing lower-priced products with considerably higher quality.

The term used for today's new concept of quality is total quality management orTQM. You can see that the old concept is reactive, designed to correct quality problems after they occur.

Employees in a service organization and particularly, those who have frequent contacts with the customer usually serve as representatives of both the organization and their products or services to the customer at contact point. The quality of the service and the satisfaction the customer may derive will be an assessment of the entire service experience.

Employees who are empowered in an organization can either portray a positive or negative picture to the customers. Considering that, a satisfied customer and employee are of important value to the organization; it therefore, becomes the duty of the management to put in place a system that would ultimately generate either satisfaction, or dissatisfaction from their customers and employees.

Since the employees have a major role to play in determining, whether a customer would enjoy the experience or turn to their competitors for better solutions.

This according to Baruch (1998), forces organizations to re-think their strategy” because as Zeithaml (2006) points out, companies today recognize that they can compete more effectively by distinguishing themselves with respect to service quality and improved customer satisfaction.

Developments in clinical procedures, technologies, laws have called for hospitals to search for new strategies and structures. Decreasing markets, increasing demands, and changed customer attitudes, regulations, as well as the growing global competition in recent years, make up the causes of change in the markets hospitals are competing on.

Product and  service  quality  are  ranked  high,  private  and  public  companies providing  quality certificates  and  total  quality  management  deriving  from  this development.  Wilkinson (1998). Others have expressed the quality development asthe end of mass and the start of a new production paradigm, based upon flexible specialization, Piore and Sabel (1984). In view of the prevailing trend, increasedservice quality and a higher degree of liability towards customers no longer remain a mere possibility but are essential if market shares are to be retained and further developed.

According to Oakland (1993), quality management is driven by the competitive environment and is universal for all types of organizations:” Whatever type of organizations you are working in a  hospital, university,  bank,  insurance  company,  airline  company,  students, or  whatever company  you are working in – competition is common: Competition among customers, resources etc. Very few organizations do not see quality as a most important element in the battle for competitive advantages.”

The management interest in quality is not new but using quality as a key element in the battle for competitive advantages is of recent date. Oakland (1989) claims that after the industrial revolution, and the computer revolution in the beginning of the 1980’s, we are now in the midst of a quality revolution.  Surveys conducted by various organizations have revealed an increase in quality movements. These include the movement best known as total quality management; this has been widely acknowledged as a major innovation in management theory.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

A number of important factors have altered the scope and nature of human resources management in recent years. There is greater involvement of line managers in personnel management and a general decentralization and devolution of the function. Increasingly line managers are required to undertake duties previously completed by personnel specialists. This result in part from firms seeking to cut costs through reducing the sizes of their personnel departments, and partially in consequence of the view that line managers ought to be able to complete this work (Graham & Benett, 1998). Recognition of the importance of the development of a firm's human resources as a means for securing competitive advantage is another trend.

Traditional Human Resource Management assures a unilateral role with an administrative focus, and high centralization. In contrast, a Total Quality approach to HRM requires a consulting and developmental role and high levels of decentralization. The shift is from the need for law-based knowledge to knowledge based on a pluralist set of customers, from compartmentalized policies and techniques to holistic methods, from worker oriented to systems oriented interventions, from performance measures to satisfaction measures and from job based to person-based tools and techniques (Sparrow & Marchingon, 1998:69).

Hospitals that have introduced some form of TQM invariably give it a name, using an overall umbrella slogan. British Rail used the slogan 'Quality Through Teamwork', IBM that of 'Market Driven Quality' and Xerox, that of Leadership through quality'. This concern with providing a marketing style slogan has extended beyond TQM. In order to improve continuously and delight patients, hospitals need to focus on customers, improve processes and unlock people potential (Walton, 1999:366). There are innumerable case examples of organizations engaging in total quality initiatives. Although there are a number of common features they do not all have the same emphasis. Consistent messages reflect a perceived need to generate a more patients responsive, quality oriented, flexible workforce. Developing team building skills, customer communications, problem solving skills, empowerment and management style assumes great importance and enormous resources have been spent on investing in development of such skills.

For more than a decade, the pursuit of TQM principles has led to probably the single most significant investment in training and learning activities that many organisations have engaged in. Given the significance of TQM for so many organisations one would expect that HRD and HRM literature to have addressed the matter and its HR implications in some depth. Yet this has not been the case (Walton 1999:357). Therefore University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Limited is worth studying to discover how the practice of Total quality management varies from other organisations and how it is implemented. There is clearly a link between Total quality management and Human resource management in the sense that the former cannot be successfully implemented without the input (skills, knowledge and effort) of its people. Organizations need to move away from the traditional thinking of HR Management as just another support function to viewing it as having a more strategic role within the organization that eventually drives organizational performance and success. Furthermore people should be viewed as a great investment to the firm and not a cost as most employers do to the point that investment in areas such as training are not considered a priority. To this end, employees who lack the skills will not deliver effectively and hence the overall quality of service or product is affected.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of human resource management on total quality management in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (U.I.T.H).

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

1.    To determine how total quality human resource management practices are applied at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Limited.

2.    To examine the benefits and challenges of TQM in the hospital.

3.    To evaluate the implications of the implementations of TQM on the operations of U.I.T.H.

1.4     Research questions

1.    How are total quality management practices applied at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Limited?

2.    What are the benefits and challenges of TQM in the hospital?

3.    What are the implications of the implementations of TQM on the operations of U.I.T.H?

1.5     Significance of study

To provide information that will lead to improved service delivery and enhance customer satisfaction through employees.

Highlight and substantiate the quality management aspects and how people when managed effectively can contribute to continuous improvement, customer satisfaction and overall organizational performance.

To assist HR practitioners with tools that support a culture of continuous improvement, create favourable working environment and liberate employees' potential to be more innovative and contribute towards organizational development.

To provide a basis for further study and exploration as well as stimulate better understanding of the richness and immense contribution of human resource management to organizations in the 21st Century.

It will enable doctors in hospitals to appreciate the place of quality management in the operations as well as policy formulation. It will highlight the challenges faced in the implementation of TQM and decisions/recommendations made will sufficiently address these challenges. 

1.6     Scope of study

This study on the impact of human resource management on total quality management is limited to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (U.I.T.H).

1.7     Limitation of study

Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.     

Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

1.8     Organization of study

This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research question, hypothesis, scope of the study and innovative aspect of the research. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.



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