Personal Case Study Reflection

Date: Oct 25, 2018

Introduction

The business in its production model was faced by various challenges along the chain. Thus, there was a need to identify a strategy to improve the system sustainably. The decision, I made, sought to improve the production system and the personnel involved in the processes. In this wake, the total quality management system (TQM) was adopted. The decision was influenced by the success rate of the tool in streamlining management and improving systems at the workplace. TQM holistic analyses the production model and identifies areas where there are problems. Once these problems are identified, measures should be taken to improve them. Thus, with the model, wastage and defects are reduced in the systems and every employee is involved in the final quality of the product. To make the company more competitive, it is imperative that such waste is reduced and the capacity of employees improved to make them more efficient and effective. The decision evidently reduced waste in production as manifested in the number of defects of the final output. Further, employees were integrated more in the management of quality.

The report evaluates relevance of the decision based on the theories of decision making, especially under uncertainty. Further, the decision is explained through group dynamics and perception perspectives. Eventually, there are recommendations on how the program can be improved.

Analysis

The decision analysis is carried out through three different perspectives:

  1. Decision Making Under Uncertainty and Risk

Within the theoretical framework as is determined utility theory, the making of decisions is done with cognizance of the related risk or fears. Decisions compare the utilities that come with the decisions based on the probabilities of success. The utilities combined by their probabilities are used to reach the decisions. The uncertainty is expressed where probabilities do not influence the decision that is reached. The expected utility theory is redressed whereby decisions are made on rationality. The theory, however, falls short of adequate information. Decision making in the theory is perfect with full access to information. Thus, the risk is the separation of expected return and expected utility. The information asymmetry translates to the risk and the extent of uncertainty. In other words, utilities are compared maximally when there is full access to information. Lack of it, thereafter, introduces risks and uncertainty in decision making (Banerjee, 2014; Mongin, 1997).

The decision to adopt TQM is not a definite solution to the woes of an organization. The tool captures both advantages and disadvantages that sway results in the end. Nonetheless, the probabilities can possibly define the extent to which TQM can succeed. In other words, the extents of the strengths are compared to the magnitude of the weaknesses. The uncertainty is the possibility of TQM not succeeding based on the anticipated probabilities. The contrast of both sides of TQM provides the utilities that can be rationally chosen (Price, 2012).

  1. Psychology of Decision Making

Psychology of decision making provides a strong communication tool relevant to the decision making. Through perceptual bias, managerial communication can be distorted. Information can be altered due to personal prejudice and bias derived from stereotyping, projections and perceptual bias. Stereotyping is the act where a decision maker uses individual characteristics from their group of origin to judge other people. Psychologically, stereotyping inducts some biases that are not based on facts. Further, the characteristic of an individual can be used to judge the characteristic of another individual. Judgments are based on generalization about communities. On the other hand, projections promote the idea that people share the same beliefs, feelings and characteristics as that of a decision maker. This is a fallacious assumption because, naturally, people have different world views from various cultural backgrounds. Poor psychological character of a decision maker is to develop the feeling of carrying the full benefits of success. To the contrary, a decision maker attaches failure to other parties. Finally, traces of perceptual defense can run in an organization whereby information is blocked or distorted to wade off challenges on the decision maker’s ideas (Band et al., 2009; Crighton et al., 2003).

Total Quality Management, TQM, as management tool is challenged by perception in various ways. The total component means that every employee is responsible for the final quality of a product. However, the tool uses stratified mechanism capable of segmenting an institution. There are concerns of junior and senior staff to be addressed. The first concern is the reception of the management improvement idea. The second concern is whether employees are open to improve the systems within the decision. Equally, perception influences the decision I made by introducing this idea to the company. The idea was greatly informed by its widespread success (Price, 2012; Kelchner, 2014).

  1. Group Decision Making Perspectives

The process gains in group decision making provides more benefits than individual decision making. The group performances are significantly more than individual performance. Thus, organizations depend on groups than individual employees. The essence of this notion is structuring of organization into departments. Decisions come from single individuals and are polished through departmental discussion before they adopted by the entire department as guide. It happens in hidden profiles where the best solution is realized after many heads discuss an item. However, certain decisions such as the mission and vision statement guide the entire organization (Mojzisch, 2011).

To develop the capacities within the employees, the Johari Window is a handy model. The model examines the self disclosure processes. Through the use of a pictorial analysis, it helps one to know himself or herself better with respect to others. The open self describes what a person knows and has shared with others while hidden self describes that which is known and not shared by the group. The potential of group performance lies on hidden self. The gaps of the unknown presents poor development of ideas since groups cannot maximize the potential of others.TQM is a wide model that specifies tuning for success. Whereas, I proposed the idea in which the basic functionalities depend on departments to identify improvement systems within the company. Critically, the success of TQM depends on the performance and integration of groups and departments (West, 2011; Robbins, 2003).

Critical Discussion

The overall aim of TQM is to make the company competitive by lowering the costs of production through reduction in defects and wastes. Firms can, therefore, exhibit more sales by controlling their prices. In practicing TQM, there is excessive employee engagement. The group making perspectives are critical in this case. Teams of employees identify systems and investigate how to improve them. The company, therefore, benefits in a group developing a sub system as indicated in group decision making perspective. Further, TQM has numerous pillars that must be customized on the basis of organizations needs. The introduction of the management tool in the company requires suitable communication. The model employs training to improve the capacity of employees to achieve the new changes in a company. The training is based on delegated duty that was built on the perception of senior and junior employees. The totality in management requires that employees own the systems. Employees develop critical understanding and judgment that is borne of facts. Integration of roles helps to achieve the overall objective of TQM (Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor, 2012; Kelchner, 2014)

TQM is, however, faced by cost challenges in the short run. The costs are enormous in training and adoption of better technologies. The company, therefore, faces high cost of production and an urge to charge high prices in the market. The cost implications, if not well managed, make firms reduce production, cut off employees or even lock it out of business. The decision to adopt TQM, including the pace of implementation, requires a lot of information. The availability of the data defines the extent of risks, while lack of it defines uncertainty in the implementation of the management tool. TQM is a renowned management model that has succeeded in many companies.

Thus, judgments can be clouded through induction to build a perception that the model is always successful. As a decision maker, perception defense crops in if TQM indeed succeeds. On the other hand, since TQM works within sub systems of the larger systems, it is also easy to blame failing factions. TQM has a shortcoming of facing resistance from employees who are against change. This is based on the communication model used to pass the change in the company. The resistance can also introduce workplaces biases between the sections of the employees. If there is no total involvement of employees, the program fails (Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor, 2012; Kelchner, 2014)

Recommendations

Based on the analysis and discuss above, I would recommend the following:

  1. Decision Formulation

The development of the model would refocus on an inclusive approach from the onset. Whereas totality is advanced in TQM, the model could have come with more scrutiny. Of course, the decision was implemented by engaging employees in improving the sub systems. However, the most suitable way could have been to take employees’ decisions on what accounts to improve. Equally, thoughts could have been sought on other suitable management improvement models. The essence is adopting a wider coverage of thoughts that lessen biasness in decision making. By single handedly choosing TQM to improve the performance of the company, it locked the adoption of an alternate management tool. The biasness was based on the success of the TQM in other places.

  1. Adoption of TQM

The adoption of TQM in the company was a top senior level decision that took into consideration the views of middle and junior employees. TQM has various pillars. Thus, the view of all employees could have helped customize it to a greater potential. On the contrary, other employees were involved in the improvement of their systems to achieve a set target. Thus, it all narrowed down to sub systems working as individual items for overall success. Looking at it again, these systems could have been integrated through information sharing. The discussions between employees reduce risks and uncertainties that can fail the TQM system. However, the system can be further improved to check the wastes that move from one sub system to another with associate mechanisms to improve them.

  1. Perception

The greatest risk to the decision to implement TQM is the build of perception in junior employees that the program is being enforced on them. The decision was built on a perception that since it is a good idea, it would be adopted by every employee. This being the shared oneself in the case, it shadows the potential of other employees taking an initiative to develop the system. The junior employees view it as an imposed tool. This negative perception can be changed through education. As people access more information, they get to accept themselves and share with others. The more senior and junior employee reduce the gap of the hidden self, the greater the likelihood of TQM succeeding in the company. By understanding the impacts of prejudice and bias, the management program is improved. It happens by improving the cohesion between sections of employees.

  1. Uncertainty and Risks

The decision making process could have taken a different perspective. As already noted, the decision faces huge capital investments on new technologies and training for staff. The application of the expected utility theory could have explicitly outlined the gains expected from the decision. The calculations require contributions from all the existing departments. Eventually, a more comprehensive decision is made by acknowledging the risks and uncertainties. The final decision was made based on rationality. However, the former decision was guided by bounded rationality. The decision to adopt the management improvement model was adopted for its success in other companies. The calculations, however, show an anticipated rate of success in the organization. The realization of uncertainties and risks in picking the decision is not limited to the abstract organizational structure but acknowledges individual and group characteristics as well. To improve the management scheme, there is a need for inclusion of perception in the performance of the organization.

Conclusion

Further, the decision can be analyzed in the context of prospect and attribution theories. Prospect theory advances uncertainty and risks while attribution theory improves the perspective of other people in management.

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