The critical role of city and county managers in quality management implementation
Since the early 1990's local governments have shown an interest in programs like Total Quality Management that were expected to provide services more efficiently and effectively. As a management concept, TQM is a strategy that emerged from the private sector and was touted with great enthusiasm as a cure for much bureaucratic pathology. Several of its elements can be found in various other management initiatives including: Reinventing Government; Continuous Improvement; Reengineering; Balanced Scorecard, etc. This study is a longitudinal case study with in-depth interviews of 19 city/county managers in ten local government jurisdictions whose original TQM programs were instituted in the early 1990's. In addition to discerning how their TQM programs evolved, this study also considered which variables and city/county manager actions tended to result in more successful program implementation. Further, the effects of manager turnover on long term TQM institutionalization was investigated. The ultimate objective was to identify a set of policy measures to guide managers in implementing successful quality service initiatives: The results of this study affirm the early literature's suggestion that managerial leadership plays an important role in TQM implementation. However, it was also found that manager commitment alone was not sufficient to enable local governments to institutionalize TQM or its program variants in any of the study jurisdictions. Moreover, other managerial strategies which were not stressed in the early literature were found to be equally or more important to implement quality service policies and procedures. Based upon these findings, a model "quality implementation strategy" was outlined for managers. This suggests that policy guidance is important since the requirements for delivering quality services at the local government level have not diminished. Rather, increasing calls for services combined with public reticence to provide adequate tax revenues is a challenge that most local government managers and their elected officials face on a daily basis.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Ready, David H|
Wayne State University
|Type of publication:||Other|
ETD Collection for Wayne State University
Saved in favorites
Similar items by subject
Find similar items by using search terms and synonyms from our Thesaurus for Economics (STW).