Total Quality Management in the Saudi manufacturing sector: Prospects and difficulties.
2015-11-19T09:01:41Z (GMT) by
Total Quality Management is considered in this study within the context of Saudi Arabia's industrial diversification strategy and the efforts of the Kingdom to reduce its dependence on oil as the main source of its income. The private sector is expected to play a major role in bringing this about through the development of a sound manufacturing base, capable of satisfying local demand and, in the long run, of gaining access to export markets. However, the success of this policy will, to a large extent, depend on the ability of the private sector to deliver quality products which meet the requirements of local consumers and, more generally, of the present day market. Against this background, we attempt to examine the extent of TQM awareness in Saudi manufacturing and the prospects and difficulties facing its implementation in this industry. The research is based on data obtained through a questionnaire distributed to 282 manufacturing companies established in or around the city of Jeddah and representing seven industrial categories. Analysis of the data revealed that major difficulties remain to be overcome before Saudi manufacturing can be said to have reached the degree of maturity necessary for TQM implementation. These difficulties include a general lack of awareness as to the strategic importance of quality, lack of technical and management know-how, inadequate provision for training and human resource development as well as shortcomings in the organisational systems in place. The policy implications of this situation are then discussed in relation to the Kingdom's overall economic development, highlighting the need for long-term solutions to be provided through the concerted efforts of both the government and the Saudi producers and for greater cooperation between them. Available data on Saudi Arabia relate almost exclusively to the Kingdom's role as an oil exporting giant and to the associated problems of its situation as a single commodity economy. This study can be seen as a modest attempt to redress the balance by concentrating on the non-oil manufacturing sector and on the prospects for its future development.