Maximizing innovation using Total Quality Management
Innovation has been defined as the ability of a company to create something new in a burst of creativity and is typically associated with a research and development (R&D) department. Such a narrow definition of innovation is often accompanied by a hefty R&D budget and an avoidance of processes that could hinder creativity. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy and system, used by many businesses, for improving competitive advantage. There is debate about whether TQM, with its controls and metered processes, strangles creativity and innovation. This paper explores this issue by reviewing current research literature, identifying areas where TQM practices may not support innovation, and pinpointing alternative tactics that foster innovation. The lessons learned are presented in a manual for cultivating innovation while using TQM. This paper is designed for a TQM manager wanting to foster innovation throughout a company.
0796: Operations research