Discussion of the relationship between TQM and information and communications technology (ICT) normally focuses either on technological issues, or on the role of ICT in enabling the achievement of quality goals by means of business process re‐engineering. Less attention has been paid to the effects that the increased utilisation of ICT is having on management style, and on the quality of relationships. This paper reports on research undertaken into the development, implementation and enforcement of codes of conduct designed to govern employees' use of ICT. A study of 125 London‐based employers found that, although such codes had been introduced in nearly three‐quarters of the organisations, the majority failed to address a key issue of concern to customers – privacy of personal data. Furthermore, the codes themselves were seen to have little influence on the behaviour of employees. The reasons for this are discussed within a TQM framework, and suggestions made as to how compliance might be improved in future.
The TQM Magazine – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2004
Keywords: Total quality management; Electronic commerce; Organizational culture; Ethics; United Kingdom