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B Riahi, PhD in Public Management, Director of Quality Systems at ISIRI, Executive Secretary of Iran Accreditation System, Secretary to National Quality Award
B Riahi, PhD in Public Management, Director of Quality Systems at ISIRI, Executive Secretary of Iran Accreditation System, Secretary to National Quality Award

New Theory of TQM in Iranian Public Sector (PS)

Part III

Conclusion
The research results show that, due to the values and convictions of Moslem Iranians, the public sector managers have respect and regard for individuals which brings increasing satisfaction to the people and creates confidence in them with regards to the government and stabilizes Islamic beliefs and values.

Also, regardless of Islamic compassion and flexibility in servicing and solving the people problems, the organization pays attention to the costs of confidence, correctness and accuracy of organizational activities, efforts of the management in decreasing the shortcomings in the organization and establishing the stimulant and motive for satisfactory servicing that cause the rise of expected effectiveness. The research results show that having staff with knowledge, qualification, and education as well as regular training programs and increasing the knowledge and skill of the staff cause the enhancement of the expected effectiveness.

Illustration Today, the issue of the environment has become an indispensable element of life. Organizations need to consider enhancement of knowledge and awareness about the environment and establishing an evolution in the organizational structure, culture and procedures with respect to environmental protection. The differences in organizations, both former and present ones, show that changes in organizations improves or destroys them. The changes should go along with maintaining and applying values and an excellent vision and lead the human beings to development. Hence changing without excellent values and goals, leads to destruction. The administrative system in every country aims to adjust organizations created for government activities to achieve determined goals. This requires coordination between different departments in the organization and suitable grounds for solving problems and good practice in public affairs. The idea of modifications in the administrative system and changing the infrastructure of servicing have been followed by managers and policy-makers from early years of the Islamic Revolution. Huge changes in recent years have proved the necessity for revision of policies of servicing in public sector, more than ever before.

There is no doubt that the quality management system has led to good results in the private sector, and the public sector has well understood that quality services need greater participation of managers in social scenes.

In recent years, the High Council of Administration has seriously considered the implementation of quality management systems in the public sector and at present many state organizations follow this policy. The present research is a step towards planning and designing TQM models in the Iranian public sector. Views of managers and experts in state organizations (the statistical population) about state management behavior (treatment), show that dimensions in effectiveness of TQM system in the Iranian public sector, operate inadequately and without coordination. Hence this largely reduces their effectiveness.

The results of the survey of clients' views of public organizations (statistical population) revealed that most of the citizens (clients) are not satisfied with public sector performances.
This dissatisfaction, as expressed by managers, supervisors and experts, rises from a lack of TQM dimensions that have many effects on the servicing process.

  • 1st hypothesis: "confidence-orientation in servicing has a relationship with effectiveness of TQM system in the Iranian public sector": 37% of the respondents of effective organizations believe that confidence-orientation does exist in effective organizations, 37% agree but to a limited degree, and 26% have declared that in organizations with less effectiveness it has not been applied at all.
  • 2nd hypothesis: "respecting justice and believing in values in servicing has a relationship with effectiveness of TQM in the Iranian public sector": 25% of the respondents in effective organizations agree, 30% agree but to a limited degree, and 45% believe that justice has no value.
  • 3rd hypothesis: "beliefs and values in servicing have a relationship with effectiveness of TQM in the Iranian public sector": 37% of respondents agree completely, 35% agree but to a limited degree, and 28% do not agree.
  • 4th hypothesis: "respect for clients in servicing has a relationship with TQM system in the Iranian public sector": 48% agree, 29% agree but to a limited degree, and 23% do not agree.
  • 5th hypothesis: "flexibility in servicing has no relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 39% of the respondents believe that there is flexibility in implementing the rules and regulations in servicing, 39% agree but to a limited degree, and 24% do not agree.
  • 6th hypothesis: "responsiveness in servicing has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 37% agree, 27% agree but to a limited degree, and 36% disagree.
  • 7th hypothesis: "spatial beauty in servicing has a relationship to TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 22% of respondents agree that the beauty of the work place where services are provided is important, 32% agree but to a limited degree and 46% disagree.
  • 8th hypothesis: "transparency and correctness in providing information to clients has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 40% agree, 25% agree to a limited degree, and 37% disagree.
  • 9th hypothesis "giving value to opinions of clients has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 40% agree, 25% agree but to a limited degree and 35% disagree.
  • 10th hypothesis: "correctness in providing services has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 29% agree, 37% agree but to a limited degree, and 34% disagree.
  • 11th hypothesis: "speed in servicing has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 32% agree, 30% agree but to a limited degree and 38% disagree.
  • 12th hypothesis: "capabilities of the staff has a relationship with TQM effectiveness in the Iranian public sector": 39% agree, 31% agree but to a limited degree, and 30% disagree.

Illustration About expected effectiveness of public organizations, the opinions of people questioned were as follows:

  • 46% of clients are satisfied with the services, 17% are satisfied but to a limited degree, and 37% are not.
  • 48% of clients believe in the sustainability of social values by managers and staff of the public sector, 12% agree but to a limited degree, and 40% disagree.
  • 43% of clients agree very much with establishing social investment by public organizations, 15% agree but to a limited degree, and 43% disagree.

This effectiveness has arisen from active elements such as respect for clients, flexibility in servicing, confidence-oriented servicing, operation value, staff qualification, correctness in responses to servicing, speed in servicing, transparency of information in servicing, fairness in servicing.

Analysis of other research findings
One of the notable findings of this research was that "effective organizations felt more committed in responding to the questionnaires". This shows that despite provision of quality services by the effective organizations, people considered them responsible for providing more and better services. This means:

  1. Leaders and managers of effective organizations have a sense of responsibility and commitment to people.
  2. The staff of such organizations know that it is their duty to provide quality services for people.
  3. The effective organizations are responsive to people in providing services. Attention to this matter is increasing. Implementing an effective management system may help provide services with quality, and faster.

Results of research
Because of values and beliefs in Iran, consideration given by managers in the public sector to the following matters cause an increase in the satisfaction level of the people and citizens with the government's performances.

  1. The results show that attention paid by the public organizations during servicing to position, situation and respects of human beings bring about increasing satisfaction. Respect for clients, increases proper reaction by them.
  2. The research results indicate that observation of Islamic compassion and flexibility in servicing along with the efforts of the staff in solving the problems result in increasing effectiveness.
  3. The research results show that confidence in clients as accepted principles bring increasing satisfaction.
  4. The research results illustrate that correctness and truth in any organization's activities, efforts of management in reducing shortcomings and creating the right motive for providing the proper services to clients lead to increase in effectiveness.
  5. The results show that having knowledgeable and qualified staff, proper and regular education related to the type of service they provide as well as training courses and upgrading the knowledge and skill of the employees lead to increasing effectiveness.
  6. The research results show that observation of Islamic and ethical values in organizations, and interpretation of laws and regulations with emphasis on values lead to increasing effectiveness.
  7. The results show that responsiveness to people, consideration for the clients' satisfaction and commitment of managers to peoples' demands lead to increasing effectiveness.
  8. The research results indicate that the effects of clients' opinions in organization's decisions and establishing proposal systems and studying the views of the customers lead to increasing effectiveness.

Illustration Weak points and shortcomings of the research

The shortcomings of the present research are as follows:

  • The statistical population could be expanded, time permitting, to include a far larger community, and not only in Tehran (e.g. municipalities, banks, Social Security Departments, insurance companies and agents etc).
  • The dependent variables in this research consist of citizens' satisfaction, social investment and maintenance of social values. Other variables, such as productivity of public organizations, qualification of staff, and performance values, could be added.
  • The research covers a wide range of studies through the Internet and participation in international meetings at the first stage of the research as well as contacts with scholars such as Parasuraman, Zenthamell, Berri, and Farazmand and used their guidelines and views. But at present there are many other researches being carried out all over the world on TQM in the public sector. Contacts with such researchers could surely give better results.
  • Tools for compiling information in this research consisted of questionnaires, documents and records. If more tools and techniques were used, better results could be achieved.

Proposals derived from research studies
Based on the experiences of several other countries that have worked on the implementation of TQM systems in their public sectors, it should be possible to design and implement an effective TQM for the Iranian public sector.

  1. To implement a TQM model in our public sector, it would be necessary to create a high level management awareness and commitment, among the public sector employees, managers in particular.
  2. The public sector should be improved with the help of specialists and experts in service standards.
  3. In order to assess service quality in the public sector it is necessary to determine the true costs of services, enabling the assessment of the service quality to be measured against costs.
  4. Due to challenges and constraints that exist in implementing TQM in the public sector, the research proposes the following steps in order to bring about the desired pattern:
  • It is necessary to consider such dimensions as availability, communications, qualifications, skills, politeness, creativity, security, commitment to services and understanding customers.
  • Since, in the public sector, all services are provided according to regulations, it is proposed that, in order to apply TQM in the public sector as well as to reduce deviations from criteria, appropriate criteria of services be compiled.
  • This research proposes to define "customer" in the public sector clearly and transparently because the definition of "customer" is very ambiguous, particularly from a political point of view. On the other hand, organizations in the public sector must have more commitment to clients rather than responsiveness.
  • Since TQM depends largely on organizational culture, it is proposed that managers in the public sector establish a quality-oriented culture in their own organization for implementing a desired pattern of TQM.
  • In order to control and review the organizational process, it is necessary that the top managers make improvements and take corrective actions.
  • Since the economic control is a barrier to public organizations for implementing TQM and the elements of budgeting for controlling the true application of financial resources, it is proposed that guidelines shall be prepared for implementing TQM in the public sector at low cost.
  • Exclusivity belongs to the government and public sector in thought. The customer has no right and for this reason he may not affect the quality of services. It is proposed that a suitable guideline shall be prepared for rising competitiveness in the public sector.

Illustration Sectionalization is another barrier to implementing TQM in the public sector and for the vertical structures of the public sector, cooperation between sections may be difficult. The problem that results from this barrier consists of reduction of suitability of public services. It is proposed that inter section relations should be redefined and reviewed.

The effect of political groups is another barrier to implementation of TQM in the public sector, in which managers achieve their posts with the help of such groups. They, therefore, suppose that the principle customers are those who have appointed them as managers. Thus before satisfying the people and clients, they work for the satisfaction of government officials and political groups.

Furthermore the following actions are recommended:

  1. A provisional pattern should be designed and recommended to the specialized strategic committee on implementation of quality management systems in the public sector for enforcement of the pattern in the public sector experimentally.
  2. National standards concerning quality of services in the public sector should be prepared
  3. In order to adequately train the managers of the public organizations, the requirements and criteria for assessment of consultants and auditors of quality management should be applied.
  4. To create motivation in the public sector the "National Quality Service Award" should be granted to organizations that offer the best and highest quality of services to the people.
  5. To review and correct services in the public sector, a guideline should be prepared for the assessment of performances.
  6. A special credit should be offered for implementing the TQM model in the public sector within the 4th Development Plan of the state.

Illustration Proposal to Ministry of Sciences, Research and Technology
Because of the importance of knowledge about TQM in the public sector it is here proposed that a course or training workshop should be offered at the MA level in TQM for the staff of public organizations.

Proposal to consultants on quality management
It is here proposed to consultants to establish a section entitled "Quality Management in Public Sector" and to assist the public sector employees by training them.

It is also proposed generally that this research topic should be continued. It should be pointed out here that due to the variety of goals and aims, each research project has to be done in its own way. But even under the best conditions, a research project may not answer all the questions it seeks to answer. In that case at the end of the research there will emerge new questions that other researchers should adopt as their topics.

  1. The theme of TQM in the public sector has many dimensions each of which may be selected as a new subject for research.

    According to his findings, this researcher proposes that further research should be carried out to measure the level of effectiveness of services in the public sector by using other dimensions of quality management.
  2. Since, in this research, TQM has been considered as an independent variable, in other researches TQM may be chosen as the dependent variable. We may consider the independent variable of the research as qualification, productivity and effectiveness.
  3. It is proposed that further researches on other subjects like TQM: "challenges in the public sector and measurement of service quality in the public sector", be carried out.
  4. Since the procedure of this model is important as a system, it is proposed that a research should be carried out to prepare a procedure model.
  5. TQM was first introduced by British Standards Institution (BSI). We propose further researches, on the relationship model discussed in this research be carried out and the results published.
  6. It is proposed that, to determine this model, provisions of the related checklists concerning the elements of the model should be considered.

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