QM is Alignment of the Inward and Outward Dimensions of Organizations
As an economist with a background in education and business management, I had a clear understanding of the interdependence between supply and demand, the only law in economic theory. Supply representing people who work in organizations that produce and provide (sell, deliver) products and service to customers. Demand representing customers, clients, users or people with needs and to satisfy them buy products from suppliers/organizations in the productive private sector. But the same principles apply to users who receive services produced and delivered by organizations in the public/government sector (paid indirectly through taxes). From this description, it is clear that organizations (supply) exist only if they have customers, clients, users (the demand) who seek/buy products/services the organization produces. Otherwise, organizations have no reason to exist.
The importance of customers is paramount in economics. But it is also a rational aspect of management. So, when I studied management, I was puzzled to see that traditional management theories were anchored in HRM related exclusively to the supply side of the equation but ignored the critically important demand side. Management was based on an inward-looking vision of organizations (supply) that ignored the critical outward vision (demand) and its effects on sustainability. In the 21st century, technology and the increasing numbers of disruptions affecting organizations in the VUCA environment are pressing organizations to complement inward and outward visions as a necessary condition to attain quality standards.
My concern about the segmented management vision focused on HRM principles increased when I specialized in quality management. My first encounter with QM took place when I was the Director of the Miami Chapter of the National Association of Business Economist where I met fellow economists who worked for the Florida Power and Light Company. This was the first American company that won the Japanese Quality Deming Award2 in 1987. This was my quality initiation. Since then, I have worked consistently in quality management. I wrote the first QM book applied to education in 2001 published by McGraw-Hill. Quality education and quality principles applied toeducation are critical conditions to facilitate the deployment of quality standards in rhe workplace. Systematic approaches to quality improvement induced me to write Human Centered Management: The 5 Pillars of Organizational Quality and Global Sustainability (2017) to address quality and sustainability challenges in organizations. The following section provides a summary of the quality movement history to explains the central role of quality embedded in the Sustainable Quality Management (SQM) pillar of my HCM model.
DEMING’S TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) PROPELLED BY HUMAN