Historical Evolution Of Total Quality Management



Quality has been seen in human activities since ages. The evolution of Total Quality Management has taken place in a number of stages.

Stages of the historical evolution:

The historical evolution of Total Quality Management has taken place in four stages.

They can be categorized as follows:

1. Quality inspection

2. Quality control

3. Quality assurance

4. Total Quality Management.

Quality inspection:

The purpose of the inspection was that the poor quality product found by the inspectors would be separated from the acceptable quality product and then would be scrapped, reworked or sold as lower quality.


Quality control:

  • With further industrial advancement came the second stage of TQM development and quality was controlled through supervised skills, written specification, measurement and standardization.
  • The development of control charts and accepting sampling methods by Shewhart and Dodge-Roming during the period 1924–1931 helped this era to prosper further from the previous inspection era. At this stage Shewhart introduced the idea that quality control can help to distinguish and separate two types of process variation; firstly the variation resulting from random causes and secondly the variation resulting from assignable or special causes.
  • The main processes which help products and services to meet customers’ needs are inspection and quality control which require greater process control and lower evidence of non-conformance


Quality assurance:

  • The third stage of this development, i.e. quality assurance contains all the previous stages in order to provide sufficient confidence that a product or service will satisfy customers’ needs.
  • At this stage there was also an emphasis of change from detection activities towards prevention of bad quality.


Total Quality Management:

  • The fourth level, i.e. Total Quality Management involves the understanding and implementation of quality management principles and concepts in every aspect of business activities.
  • Total Quality Management demands that the principles of quality management must be applied at every level, every stage and in every department of the organization.
  • The idea of Total Quality Management philosophy must also be enriched by the application of sophisticated quality management techniques.
  • The process of quality management would also be beyond the inner organization in order to develop close collaboration with suppliers.


The development of total quality management from 1950 onwards can be credited to the works of various American experts. Among them, Dr Edward Deming, Dr Joseph Juran and Philip Crosby have contributed significantly towards the continuous development of the subject.