Assessing total quality management practices on print projects in the Ghanaian printing industry

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The Ghanaian printing industry executes several printing projects such as government textbooks, election material, packaging material year after year. Due to globalization and trade freedom, competition has been stiff in the printing sector over the years. Total Quality Management is an established mechanism of quality management for achievement in other areas of the world in the manufacturing and service industries. It has helped enhance quality, operating costs, timelines for delivery and productivity. However, its application was slow and haphazard in the Ghanaian printing sector. Therefore, the study evaluated the present state of total quality management practices on print projects in the Ghanaian printing industry using quantitative instruments complemented with qualitative instruments such as observation and unstructured main informant interview to collect information. A total of forty-two (42) questionnaires were analysed using IBM SPSS statistics version 23 to conduct reliability analysis, descriptive statistics, and Friedman's test to evaluate TQM practice and rank some TQM obstacles in the Ghanaian printing sector. It was observed that there was the presence of Total Quality Management in the printing sector with an adequate level of awareness among employees, training was carried out with specifics on “on-the-job training” however its frequency was as and when needed. Most of the printing firms had a quality policy which drives the quality agenda. Critical success variables such as supplier management, customer focus, leadership have emerged as main concepts being implemented with little emphasis on staff development, empowerment, and involvement. The major hinderances to TQM implementation were identified as Human obstacles (such as low skills, low salaries), poor planning, employee attitude towards quality and absence of leadership. However, TQM application was achieved in part owing to the absence of hard TQM components such as Statistical Process Control, continuous improvement, etc. The study adds to empirical research on the application of total quality management in the printing sector. A framework for managing the execution of Total Quality Management has been suggested
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Award Degree of Master of Mcience in project management.
Printing Industry, Total Quality Managemen, Continuous Improvement, TQM Implementation