The creative thinking skills needed for total quality management to become fact, not just philosophy

Basadur, M.S. and Robinson, S.J. (1993). The creative thinking skills needed for total quality management to become fact, not just philosophy. American Behavioral Scientist, 37 (1), pp 121-138.

Abstract

This article models the change-making process for organizations, summarizes research on the model, and shows the fundamental connection between change-making skills and the concept called total quality management (TQM). Further the article models the change-making process as a disciplined multistage, circular creative thinking process and links creative thinking directly to organizational effectiveness. Three key creative thinking skills for organizations are identified: deferral of judgment, active divergence, and active convergence. How these skills form the basis of TQM success is described and training research is summarized. Change-making skills and continuous improvement are identified as the fundamentals of TQM. As North American industries continue to experience the effects of constantly changing markets and global competition, the need to implement TQM will increasingly emerge. The move beyond the tendency to supe41cially implement the latest 'fad"' organizations need to increase their understanding of change-making as the foundation of TQM. Organizational members starting with top management need to learn fundamental creative thinking skills to participate in the change-making process.

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