Sunday, September 25, 2005

Quality management is always a relative issue

A real quality management – that means quality of management in practice – always takes place in a real organization and in its transactions with stakeholders of its business community. In order to be concrete and practical quality management should be considered from one organization’s viewpoint. Quality is manifested ultimately by organization’s outputs (products) to its stakeholders.

Within any organization there is always some kind of status quo situation in respect to the quality of management. This present situation is the existing unique reality within the organization. The organization cannot disengage itself from the past, from its historical development that has happened. At the very present moment the organization also takes its step to the future. Thus, the elements of present, past, and future exist simultaneously at every present moment.

Always an organization gets impacts from its business environment and business community. It lives in the same business culture with its stakeholders and business partners. And there are also strong impacts from the society as a whole where the organization exists.

Quality thinking and practices are continuously developing at all the following levels:

  • individual organization
  • business community
  • society

Difficulties may if an organization tries to operate simultaneously with different business branches or within different societal environments e.g. of different geographical areas.

Quality management may be neither at practical nor theoretical level an objective issue. It is always depended on by whom and in which situation it is being considered.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Quality in organizational interactions are based on usage of information

Quality management is valid in certain organizational contexts. Today all organizations operate in many kinds of networks. There are mutual and multilateral transactions between an organization and its stakeholders (or interested parties) and other network actors. Transactions may take place between individuals or technical equipment, e.g. information systems. In addition to the intended transactions there are also always very likely taking place unintended events and even hostile transactions in organizations' networks.

In organizational environments quality relates to all interactions and transactions of the organization with all its stakeholders. Quality is primarily categorized by the features of organization's products (goods and services). A product is in general defined as any kind of output from the organization to its stakeholders. Products are generated and delivered by organizations' business processes. Thus, quality is originated in business processes although it is manifested in organization's products. It is justified to talk about quality as an important aspect in organization's overall business performance.

In modern business environments both the number and variety of stakeholders has increased and communication between them has increased, intensified, diversified, and speeded up tremendously due to global telecom networks and services. Also organization-dedicated internal networks are tightly linked with the public networks. Large part of organizations' internal and external information is confidential at least to some stakeholders. Quality and quality management are very strongly related with the information and communication in these networks.