Culture and QMS implementation

Culture and QMS implementation
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Organizational culture has tremendous impact on implementation of quality management system. The implementation cannot change the culture at once. To change the culture a long time period is needed. During the development of quality management system it is possible to influence only on the first level of the organizational culture through:

  • design of the new organization,
  • implementation of new methods of work,
  • definition of goals,
  • procedures and instructions.

Impact of organizational culture on QMS implementation

The impact of organizational culture can therefore manifest itself in:

At the stage of implementation organization also can touch the second level by:

Organizational culture may prevent the effective implementation of the system, if new principles of customer orientation are not accepted and adopted by the employees. The procedures and instructions will be applied in that case, however, it's difficult to treat it as a fully running system. Improvement stage of QMS operation can be used to shape the behaviour of employees. The effectiveness of these attempts depends on the susceptibility of organizational culture to changes (J. Kujala, P. Lillrank 2004, p. 46 et seq.).

How different types of culture impact QMS

The strength and extent of the impact of organizational culture on quality management system effectiveness depends on its type.

Culture of domination

It may be noted that the culture of domination closes employees in the organizational units, not motivated to continuous improvement. Management and employees are interested in preserving the status quo, there is no place to quickly adapt to customer needs, create innovative products or the implement resources saving. Implementation of quality management system is possible, but you can not count on its development and improvement.

Culture of competition

In turn, in the culture of competition there is considerable waste of workers energy to participate in conflicts. Employee groups are not able to work together to improve quality. Also, within groups is not possible due to the improvement of the prevailing conformist attitude. A major drawback is ineffective communication. Implementation of quality management system encounters resistance due to fear of having new cooperation mechanisms and the possibility to use the system to gain an advantage by one of the groups.

Culture of cooperation

Culture of cooperation is focused on customer needs, innovation and improvement. The organization is usually decentralized and individuals have important decision-making powers. It's conducive to the effective operation of quality management system. Particular attention should be paid to communication and coordination of activities to prevent the dissociation of organizational units.

Adaptive culture

In the adaptive culture due to its favour for the changes, it is possible to quickly and effectively implement a quality management system. It will, however, work well only as long as is needed instrumentally. Therefore, it is necessary to take action to consolidate cultural patterns. The problem may also be a large variability, flexibility of organization structure, which is dominated by temporary forms of employment, tasks, depending on the needs are performed independently or outsourced, workers lacking a moral bond with the organization (Cz Sikorski, 2002, p. 65, 94, 118, 145).

National culture and QMS effectiveness

Large impact on organizational culture, and thus the effectiveness of the quality management system is also national culture. It must be taken into account when designing and implementing the system [Kit-Fai Pun 2001, p. 325]. Education of persons in a particular national culture means that it has a certain predisposition to work, as exemplified by the idea of teamwork present in Japanese culture (B. Nogalski 1998, p. 149).

Building a quality management system model to be incorporated into the organizational culture as one of the important factors affecting the effectiveness of the implementation and operation and the scope of the system. Its omission may prevent the implementation of the model in some organizations, or make it will not work properly. The quality management system should also affect the culture of the organization in order to shape patterns of behaviour of employees. It is important to try to achieve impact not only on the level of artefacts, but also the deeper and less conscious levels.

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Author: Slawomir Wawak