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Total Quality Management (TQM) is being called the most significant shift in American management thought and practice since the Industrial Revolution. As many managers are learning, TQM presents radical new challenges to traditional management. It demands a dramatic rethinking about how decisions are made, how work is evaluated, and how communication is conducted in the workplace. Which skills and abilities must managers develop to ensure the success of TQM and refocus the organizations's resources and energies on serving the needs of its customers?
WARREN H. SCHMIDT is professor emeritus of public administration at the University of Southern California. JEROME P. FINNIGAN is human resources manager for Xerox Corporation's Office Document Systems and was instrumental in the firm's transition to TQM.