Framework for the implementation of total quality management (TQM) in real estate firms in Ghana

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With the globalization of economy, firms world-wide are actively engaged to achieve internationally accepted quality levels to ensure their position in the emerging international market especially those from developing economies. Unfortunately the Construction industry, generally, has lagged behind other industries in implementing Total Quality Management (TQM) which provide excellence in customer satisfaction through continuous improvements of products, processes or services. The main reason for that has been the perception that TQM is for manufacturing and service sectors only. Notwithstanding this challenge most current studies focuses on superior quality companies in advanced industrial environments, leaving companies in the developing economies largely unstudied. Against this backdrop, this research addresses the identified problem that has frustrated the construction industry on “how to implement TQM” by focusing on developing a framework for an effective implementation of total quality management for real estate firms in Ghana, a developing economy, through an investigation of critical quality factors. A survey of 62 real estate development companies registered with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) was conducted to establish the current quality management practices and managers perception of factors required for a successful implementation of TQM. The data was analysed using descriptive Statistics, Importance indices and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). The findings indicated that although these firms are aware of the importance of quality, their knowledge about QM is limited as well as their perception about quality is of corrective actions (Quality control) rather than preventive actions (Quality assurance, process and continuous improvement approach).Again, the survey indicates that the major problems affecting implementation of QM program are lack of expertise/resources in QM, changing the behaviour and attitude, lack of education and training to drive the improvement process, lack of employee commitment/understanding, lack of top-management commitment/understanding. Eleven factors were also identified as drivers for an effective quality management. These factors are to be given attention to minimize difficulties related to the implementation of total quality management and ensure the successful implementation of total quality management in this industry. In addition managers will be able to use this instrument to evaluate their quality management implementation so as to identify areas for improvement.  
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management, June-2012