Total Quality Management and Operational Performance in the Utility Poll Treatment Industry: A case of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited
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The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between TQM and operational performance in the utility pole treatment industry with reference to UEDCL’s pole plant and stores. TQM was operationalized into three dimensions: top management commitment, process management and quality data reporting. Specifically, the study sought to examine the relationships between: top management commitment and operational performance; process management and operational performance, and quality data reporting and operational performance. A cross-sectional survey design was used and both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using questionnaires and interviews from a sample of 32 respondents, in addition to documentary reviews. Descriptive analysis revealed a lot of variations in responses with regard to: visible leadership, timely recognition and appreciation, authority to correct problems, sharing of quality data and motivation as shown by the SD of: 1.044, 1.012, 1.167, 1.020 and 1.029 respectively. Inferential analysis revealed positive and significant correlations among the TQM dimensions and operational performance (r = .728, p < .05 for top management commitment; r = .851, p < .05 for process management and r = .763, p < .05 for quality data reporting). The above mentioned dimensions explained 74.6% variance in operational performance. The study recommended a well-built mechanism for recognition, appreciation and motivation; the need for continuous training and provision of a certain degree of autonomy to personnel in correcting problems deemed to affect achievement of set standards and targets. To increase operational performance, the TQM dimensions should be applied simultaneously, with careful allocation of resources if systems are to be optimized. Within the scope of this study, generalizability of findings would be higher if there was a larger sample size, with more respondents possibly from several other plants.