Transforming to Quality Organizations: The City of Madison Experience


Sainfort, Francois   (1997, ASQ)   University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10625    May 1997    pp. 800-809
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Article Abstract

The implementation of total quality management (TQM) in a municipality was the focus of a study funded by the National Science Foundation. The study examined five constructs for the City of Madison, WI: implementation, institutionalization, impact, structure, and culture. A survey of employees and managers used existing scales such as the Daily Life Stress Questionnaire and the Job Characteristics Inventory as well as a newly designed scale that operationalized the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. Subjects came from four city agencies: Data Processing, Planning and Development, Police, and Streets. Of 731 subjects surveyed, 424 produced useable responses. The results indicated that quality improvement (QI) is well institutionalized in Madison, but that the transformation has been gradual and still needs more structural and organizational efforts. Sixty-seven percent of respondents have been trained and 73% of these involved in QI. Fifty-seven percent of employees would encourage others to get involved, and 70% felt that union support and participation was warranted. Respondents rated their respective agencies high in areas like customer focus but low in QI related personnel policies and procedures. They felt that QI has had a positive impact on personal growth and decision making but a mixed effect on job satisfaction and improvement. They saw the city organizational culture as strong in supervisor and peer support but weak in task clarity and support for innovation.


Total Quality Management (TQM),Employees,Organizational design,Local government,Case study,Culture,Transformation

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