Total quality management (TQM)

This refers to a philosophy of quality management that originated in Japan in the 1950s which integrates quality control into all processes, rather than as a separate activity outside the process.

The approach recognises the cost and waste of correcting errors and seeks to build error or fault prevention into the whole end to end process. TQM forms the basis for more recent quality management approaches such as Lean and Six Sigma.

Total quality management is a term normally used in performance management, management accounting and strategic management.

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