Total quality management versus business process reengineering : are academics teaching what businesses are practicing?
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This paper examined the differences between Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) as seen through the eyes of both practitioners and academics. The main purpose of this research project was to determine what practitioners and academics defined TQM and BPR as and how they felt the two quality movements differed. I performed a literature review to determine what the definitions and differences actually were. I then prepared a questionnaire which would draw out the opinions of the respondents on each of those aspects. After I prepared this, I sent out 400 questionnaires to practitioners and 300 questionnaires to academics. Data analysis confirmed that there was a vast gap between what academics and businesspeople thought the differences were between TQM and BPR. Research also showed that there was a difference between what academics were teaching and what practitioners were practicing. After doing my research, I conclude that there are some major differences in the cornerstones of TQM and BPR. I think that both academics and practitioners need to take a closer look at BPR. They need to realize that BPR is a viable option for companies to pursue. Both practitioners and academics have a good handle on what TQM is and how to implement it.