Author: Chan, Pik-yan Selina
Title: The strengths and weaknesses of the organizational culture of a social service agency in Hong Kong for the implementation of TQM in her outreaching service
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1999
Subject: Social work administration -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Total quality management -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Corporate culture -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: 76 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: From organizational cultural perspective, people in an organization have their shared coping ways on uncertainties throughout a period of time of their interaction. Total quality management (TQM), as a new managerial approach applied in several social service agencies in Hong Kong recently for monitoring or improving the existing coping ways. It is interested to explore that how the contextual factor, the social agencies themselves and the people in them, affecting the implementation of TQM. Organizational culture may be the software that the administrators need to concern as balance as the hardware of working procedure or monitoring mechanism. In this dissertation, a large social service agency with long past history will be the being studied context. It aims to understand the perceptions of outreaching workers in this agency towards its organizational culture and to analyze their views by Rousseau's five layers cultural model. The five layers for cultural analysis are the layers of artifacts, behavioral patterns, behavioral norms, values and fundamental assumptions of an organization. And in the second part, the experience of the outreaching workers of their implementation of TQM in the service will be concluded. It is tied to find out the key areas for the reflection or modification of TQM in applying in social work profession. According the findings, in the agency, indeed, there are several artificial factors that can help to improve service quality, such as her strong financial support and well-established agency mission. However, her long past history reflected her certain traditional and old fashion management style. The parental leadership style, centralized decision making power, limited communicational channel, submissive staff participation pattern, slow feedback for environmental changes, and non-risk-taking attitude, all are the organization characteristics that found in Rousseau's cultural analysis model of a large social service agency As TQM emphasizes a open, transparency, accountable and democratic managerial system, it make us worry that difficulties and even conflicting situations may be unavoidable in the agency as TQM applied. Moreover, as the theme of social service agency indeed dominated by social work profession, it is important for us to understand the interaction between TQM and social work profession. From the findings, we can find that the concepts of customer-oriented and continuous improvement really similar to certain social work principles and values. For instance, respect our clients, keep confidentiality, need fulfillment, accountable to the society, mutual trusts and mutual support, etc., all are the strengths of TQM in social work professional culture. However, there are also certain challenges that have been pointed out by the informants which help for the administrators' reflection. These include the balance between quantitative and qualitative measurement of service quality. The sufficiency of knowledge of TQM that the leaders can learn so as to plan realistic and systematic strategies for the implementation of TQM. Whether the leaders, the clients, the staffs has the readiness and openness to accept the changes. Lastly, as social work emphasize workers' autonomy and professional judgement on one hand, the standardized monitoring system in TQM may be the informants' worries for limiting the independence of social work profession. After the analysis of cultural factors of the agency has been made, at the end of the dissertation, it is hoped that recommendations can be made for further improvement when TQM has been applied in the agency. The recommendations have been made according to the four core pillars of TQM; they are the successful keys for its implementation. They are the areas of leadership, total involvement, customer-oriented and continuous improvement concepts. TQM can be implemented firstly depends on the leaders' training since they are the soul for the practice of any concepts in management. They need to be capable and sensitivity to the difficulties of the staff as TQM is newly applied. Leaders should be trained to be brave, proactive, creative and open so as to lead the process and get the trust of the staffs and their involve. Secondly, for facilitating the continuous improvement, paradoxically, on one hand we need to minimize the error in the service, on the other hand, the agency need to accept mistakes since changes imply risk, and mistakes can be the opportunities for improve. Thirdly, the feedback of the clients and even the staffs may be our indicators for assessing the quality of our work. Equal status communicational channel, closed power distance, respect attitude and sincere follow up of the opinions should be the ways that the agency can try to build up a trust, cooperative and customer-oriented organizational culture. Lastly, we cannot neglect that all the suggestions for improving service quality, the key person is our staffs. No matter the rank of them, they are the men really make direct contact and provide service to our customers. They are the first image of our agencies, therefore, their involvement is significant. The agency should break though the reporting and administrative oriented culture, create an open discussing and total involvement family-liked culture.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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