Quality Management Systems and Organizational Performance

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Quality management programs are essential for the organization’s performance since they help companies to maintain and improve the quality of products and remain competitive. This paper discusses one of the quality management programs, namely, Total Quality Management. TQM makes companies focus their attention on customer satisfaction and regular quality improvement. Using Almarai, a Saudi Arabian company producing food and beverages, as an example, this paper explains how TQM may benefit organizations in terms of performance.

This company was chosen because its vision aligns with the principles of TQM. The major advantages of this program include enhancing quality at different organizational levels, understanding the needs of the market, and improving the quality chain. Moreover, a brief description of approaches to measuring the organization’s performance is provided, including the approaches based on results and behavior.


Quality management is closely related to the performance of an organization. Quality, along with time and quantity, defines performance standards that allow for assessing how well employees achieve the organization’s objectives (Aguinis, 2013). To enhance its performance, an organization should adopt a quality management program. Three commonly used quality management programs are ISO 9001-2008, Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management (TQM) (Purwihartuti, Sule, Hilmiana, & Zusnita, 2016). This paper will discuss the TQM program and apply it to a Saudi Arabian organization called Almarai. Since TQM is aimed at continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, it aligns with the company’s vision and may help it enhance its performance.

Background Information About the Organization

Almarai is a large organization based and operating in Saudi Arabia. The company is specialized in producing and distributing a wide range of food products and beverages. It was founded in 1976 by Prince Sultan bin Mohammed Al Kabeer and headquartered in the capital of the country, Riyadh. Nowadays, the company serves more than 18 million customers in over 100,000 retail outlets (Almarai, n.d.). Almarai’s vision is to be the preferred choice in foodstuffs and promote health and well-being (Singh, 2017). Its mission is to “constantly exceed consumer expectations by providing the highest quality food products and superior customer services” (Singh, 2017, p. 2). The orientation toward continuous improvement of quality has placed the organization among leaders in its industry.

Almarai pays great attention to the quality of its products. It is the owner of its key supply chain points, including the production of feed, packaging, and distribution, which allows it to control the quality of goods at each stage of manufacturing (Almarai, n.d.). It also applies “the Food Safety Management System (ISO22000: 2005)” to ensure the highest quality of its products (Almarai, n.d., para. 8). It should be said that Almarai’s efforts to improve its product quality have been successful.

The survey designed to determine customers’ satisfaction with Almarai’s goods showed that the majority of 150 respondents preferred this company’s production to that of its competitors (Singh, 2017). Yet, some customers were not completely satisfied with Almarai’s products (Singh, 2017). Therefore, the organization still has room to grow in terms of quality and performance.

The Rationale for Selecting the Quality Program

Among the existing quality programs, Total Quality Management (TQM) seems to be the most appropriate for the chosen organization. TQM is a comprehensive quality management system that aims at achieving the sustainable success of an organization (Peljhan & Marc, 2016). TQM suggests attaining the organization’s objectives by “encouraging employee feedback and participation, satisfying customer needs and expectations, respecting societal values and beliefs, and obeying governmental statutes and regulations” (Peljhan & Marc, 2016, p. 921). The central focus of TQM is customer satisfaction and constant improvement (Peljhan & Marc, 2016).

TQM encourages every member of the organization to participate in enhancing the quality of products, processes, services, and working culture (Way, Aichouni, Badawi, & Boujelbene, 2016). Example practices that can be used in TQM include teamwork and increasing employee engagement, reducing manufacturing rework, regularly measuring results, and process redesign (Peljhan & Marc, 2016). Thus, TQM is concerned with quality improvement at all levels of an organization.

TQM is focused on customer satisfaction and quality enhancement for some reason. First, paying too much attention to profitability rather than customer satisfaction hinders an organization from improving its production processes (Peljhan & Marc, 2016). Secondly, it is consumers who define the quality level of products and services, and their needs and expectations serve as a driver for further developments in different industries (Muiruri, 2016). Therefore, assessing customer satisfaction and performance results is a justified measure used in this quality management program.

Since Almarai strives to be customers’ preferred choice when it comes to food and beverage products, TQM is a proper quality management program for it. The company operates in the manufacturing industry, and it has been proved that enterprises in this kind of industry benefit from implementing TQM (Way et al., 2016). Naturally, there may be some difficulties in trying to introduce this quality management program into an organization.

For example, companies sometimes have troubles with poor planning, lack of top-level management, and unsatisfactory leadership quality (Way et al., 2016). However, organizations that face these problems are usually small or medium-sized. Almarai, on the contrary, is a large company with international recognition and strong leadership. Therefore, it has the necessary resources for successfully implementing TQM.

Potential Benefits for the Organization’s Performance

TQM has great potential to enhance the performance of the organization. However, at first, it is necessary to discuss how a company can measure its performance. If an organization decides to measure its performance based on results, it should define accountabilities and goals at the beginning (Aguinis, 2013). Further, the organization should develop its performance standards that include such aspects as quality, quantity, and time (Aguinis, 2013). Quality involves such parameters as customer’s feedback, error rates, and usefulness; quantity means the amount of produced goods, and time stands for adherence to schedule (Aguinis, 2013).

To assess employee performance, a behavior approach can be used, which involves two possible systems of measuring behaviors: comparative and absolute (Aguinis, 2013). In comparative systems, workers are compared with each other, and the organization may rank its employees from the best to the worst (Aguinis, 2013). On the other hand, absolute systems require supervisors to assess and give feedback to each worker (Aguinis, 2013). The use of the behavior approach to measuring performance may be of use in the context of TQM since it requires every employee to commit to organizational objectives and quality improvement.

One way in which TQM may benefit Almarai’s performance is through improving quality at every level of the organization. TQM brings changes to the work culture and employees’ attitudes within a company (Worlu & Obi, 2019). Since it fosters improvement throughout the organization, it is likely to encourage employees to develop their competencies. According to the behavior approach to measuring performance, competencies are key determinants of how an organization can achieve its goals (Aguinis, 2013). Thus, the improvement of workers’ skills and knowledge will lead to quality enhancement.

TQM can help the organization to respond to the market needs better. Since the major focus of TQM is customer satisfaction, it encourages companies to identify consumers’ needs and meet them as best as they can (Worlu & Obi, 2019). By adopting TQM, Almarai could, for example, not only maintain the high quality of its products but also determine the emerging needs of its clients and try to satisfy them earlier than its competitors.

One more benefit of TQM is the improvement of the quality chain. TQM sees a company’s staff as a chain in which employees are simultaneously suppliers and customers for other departments (Worlu & Obi, 2019). For example, in Almarai, units that are engaged in farming are customers of employees producing animal feed and suppliers for workers manufacturing foodstuffs. Enhancing the quality of work of each manufacturing unit will lead to an overall increase in performance.


To sum up, quality management programs are important for enhancing organizations’ performance. This paper discussed the principles of Total Quality Management, a quality management program focused on customer satisfaction and constant improvement. TQM would be appropriate for Almarai because the focus of this program aligns with the organization’s vision to become the preferred choice in the food and beverage market. TQM can benefit the organization’s performance by enhancing quality at different organizational levels, giving a better understanding of the market needs, and improving the quality chain.


Aguinis, H. (2013). Performance management (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Almarai. (n.d.). Quality and food safety. Web.

Muiruri, Z. K. (2016). Quality management systems and organizational performance: A theoretical review in Kenya’s public sector organizations. Science Journal of Business and Management, 4(5), 150-155.

Peljhan, D., & Marc, M. (2016). Total quality management and performance management systems: team players or lonely riders? Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 29(7-8), 920-940.

Purwihartuti, K., Sule, E. T., Hilmiana, & Zusnita, W. O. (2016). Quality management systems and performance of organization. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 4(11), 598-611.

Singh, A. (2017). Performance measurement of Almarai products and customer satisfaction. International Journal of Management Science, 4(1), 1-12.

Way, Y., Aichouni, M., Badawi, I., & Boujelbene, M. (2016). A survey on the implementation of total quality management (TQM) at manufacturing industries in north region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2nd International Conference on Information Management (ICIM) (pp. 84-88). Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Worlu, R. E., & Obi, J. N. (2019). Total quality management practices and organizational performance. Covenant Journal of Business & Social Sciences, 10(1), 106-129.

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