Total quality management (TQM) has been recognized by many countries to be one of
the keys to competitiveness. Organizations in other industries are increasingly using
self-assessment instrument to drive continuous improvement and direct the TQM
journey in moving the organizations towards business excellence. In Saudi Arabia,
many organizations implementing TQM are in need for a self-assessment instrument to assist in implementing TQM properly. There is a clear need to evaluate or assess
TQM practices as a key part of the TQM implementation strategy within the
construction industry organizations using an appropriate self-assessment instrument.
This thesis examined a novel approach for this problem through using Malcolm
Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) as the most suitable TQM model
selected among 16 models used worldwide within the construction industry
organizations. The developed TQM generic model is based on the selected TQM
model with consideration for the Saudi organizational culture and the requirements of construction industry. The criteria in the developed TQM generic model were used as
a framework that was translated into a multi-item questionnaire for assessing quality
performance. Quality, Assessment Instrument for the Saudi Construction Industry or
"QAISCI" was developed and it has the potential to assist in implementing and
assessing TQM. It contains TQM generic model, self-assessment questionnaire,
scoring system and achievement assessment graph. Statistical testing confirmed that
the self-assessment instrument is valid and there is significant correlation between the
scores obtained from survey and that obtained from TQM assessors.
The research also describes the results of survey about the quality management
practices carried out for 112 organizations consisting of clients, design consultants
and construction organizations. The level of TQM awareness for construction client,
consultant-design, and construction organizations were determined through QAISCL
The general level of TQM awareness for the construction industry organizations in
Saudi Arabia appears to be "Enlightenment" or exactly in the early stage of
"Enlightenment" with a percentage of progress towards full TQM implementation
equals to32%. The clients and contractors are realizing that continuous quality
improvements have been made and some benefits in the business are visible. Design consultants are seeing the first signs of improvement but still in the early stage of TQM joumey. The research also highlights on benchmarking and provides essential data for
organizations. Benchmarking process showed that 13.64% of the consultant-design
organizations and 20.94% of the construction organizations could be benchmarked to
create continuous improvement.
Also, through the study, 57% of the participating organization indicated that the main
benefit they found from implementing TQM in the business was "cost savings" and
39% stated that the major barrier was "changing the organization culture" towards a
quality culture. In addition, 50% illustrated that "evaluation of performance by merit rating" was the main pitfall.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.