Management models are categorized into traditional styles and total quality management styles. Organizations may choose to implement any of these approaches, but the quality focused style is a much preferred approach to the traditional one. Traditional styles wholly emphasize organizational structures; quality management styles emphasize product, service and process quality. When properly implemented, quality management styles can improve business operations and enhance employee performance.

Product Quality Vs. Organizational Structure

Traditional management methods focus on the internal processes, structures and roles of an organization rather than product quality. Production of more products and the costs of this process are main concerns. However, quality management styles focus less on mass production processes and more on the quality of the product. The responsibility for the product doesn't lie exclusively with the workers but is largely the responsibility of the managers -- at all levels.

Role of Managers

The role of the manager in a traditional management model is to solve problems at the top level, assign tasks to the workers and control and plan production. In this model, managers focus on quality after a product has already been produced. Quality focused management has changed the role of the manager to one who coaches and facilitates the performance of the workers. In this new model, managers emphasize staff performance and teamwork as prerequisites for quality products and services.

Place of the Customer

Traditional styles of management define quality on their own terms. Organizations using this model assume that the products or services they produce have good quality. Within this model, changing the focus to suit the customer’s needs is not seen as an ultimate priority. Quality management models focus wholly on the feedback received from customers, and organizations develop products in a way that meets the specific needs of the customers.

Continuous Improvement

Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is the core aspect of quality focused management styles. It calls for everyone at all levels in the organization to embrace a culture of quality. The process involves gradual and cyclical improvement to products, services and processes. Traditional management styles implement changes all at once and after a long period of time. The quality of products and services is changed only occasionally.