Manager Behavior in a TQM Company

Article

Keinath, Barbara J.   (1998, ASQ)   Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis, MN

Annual Quality Congress, Philadelphia, PA    Vol. 52    No. 0
QICID: 10659    May 1998    pp. 19-29
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Article Abstract

A study of thirteen managers in one company used daily logs, shadow observations, and personal interviews to identify what managers do in a TQM (total quality management) organization. This paper emphasizes log data. The managers tallied 2,386 events covering 116,904 minutes. They worked an average of 43.9 hours per week and encountered an average of 10.7 events and 1.6 interruptions per day. Shadow observations suggested that the managers underreported events and interruptions. The managers' work was verbal and episodic. Observations confirmed that each manager pursued a small number of themes throughout the work day. The managers often used multiple methods, such as handling e-mail while talking on the phone. Almost half, 42.8 percent, of the managers' time was spent at scheduled meetings, 18.9 percent in discussion or unscheduled meetings, and 25.47 percent using a computer, e-mail, or the telephone. They spent 27.41 percent of their time alone, with 64.5 percent of this time alone being devoted to e-mail, voice mail, or the telephone. Interactions with other internal employees accounted for 28.3 percent of their time, while they spent 27.2 percent with peers and 24.6 percent with direct reports. Only 11.2 percent of their time was given to supervision. Information exchange and planning took up 49 percent of their time. Interviews revealed almost unanimous agreement that the managers' company did not reward TQM values.

Keywords

Communication,Management,Meetings,Total Quality Management (TQM),Case study


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