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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Success in our modern business world depends greatly on the right approach to manage a business. For businesses to succeed and deal with tough competition and new technological challenges, quality of product and service becomes more important. (Fernandez and Stahl, 1995).

Today’s global competition coupled with the rapid development in technology, especially information technology that has made the world a global village, has compelled business organizations to develop strategies that will not only guarantee their stability but also growth in the face of this harsh, cut throat, survival of the fittest competition.

These strategies according to Zikmund (1994), come in various forms and have evolved over the years, based on the economic situation on one hand, and the nature of competition existing at every point in time at the other hand. Some of these strategies have been used with some degree of success, while others were a total failure. Why organizations could not find total solace in these strategies has been the subject of many discussions by experts in the field of management (Fernandez, and Stahl, 1995).

Every nation has its own independent historical and cultural background. The quality scenario, therefore, differs from one national setting to the other. The nations are orienting their quality management strategies and systems to meet the requirements of the operating environment. Though, the primary focus remains the same, that is, Total Customer Satisfaction. Many of the present techniques of quality management were developed in Japan. However, U.S.A., European nations and developing nations have also contributed significantly to this development. According to Aluko et al (2004), the studies carried out by researchers in different national settings reveal that the concept and philosophies of TQM are not understood by the managers and others. Because of this, an all-out-efforts are therefore, required to promote the understanding by launching massive educational and management development programs at all levels so as to create a cultural consciousness towards quality. TQM is not undimensional approach but is multifaceted in nature. Understanding these facets is essential to promote a successful quality improvement programs (Belohlav, 1993). An integrated approach on all vital components of TQM is therefore, required to achieve the desired goal.

Total Quality Management (TQM), is an operational philosophy committed to consumer satisfaction and continuous improvement. TQM is committed to quality/ excellence and to being the best in all functions. Because TQM aims to reduce costs and improve quality, it can be used as a program to implement either on overall low or a differentiation business strategy (Wheelen and Hunger, 2004).

TQM is a business philosophy that embodies the belief that management processes must focus on integrating the idea of customer driven quality throughout an organization (Zikmund, 1994). It stresses continuous improvement of product quality and service delivery. Managers improve durability and enhance a product with additional features as the product matures in age. They also strive to speed up delivery and improve other services, in order to keep their brands competitive.

The philosophy underlying the implementation of a TQM strategy is to see customers and clients as the vital key to organizational success. Organizations with TQM strategy see their business through the eyes of their customers and client expectations, not through the organizations expectations. Therefore, a Nigerian organization that employs TQM strategy must evaluate its operations through the eyes of its customers and clients (Aluko et al, 2004).

Most Nigerian Organizations define quality by engineering standards. Quality products or services need not only conform to customers’ requirements, but must also be acceptable. Effective TQM strategy entails that the products quality must go beyond acceptability for a given price range. For example, rather than leaving customers or clients satisfied that nothing went wrong with the product or service, a product or service should give the customers or clients some delightful surprises, or provide unexpected benefits (Oakland, 1993). This means, therefore, that product or service quality assurance requires more than just meeting customers’ or clients’ minimum standards.

The level of product quality is the degree to which a product or service is equal to or greater than customer’s or clients’ expectations. (Aluko et al, 2004).

Total Quality Management (TQM) is defined as management method relying on the cooperation of all members of an organization; a management method that centers on Quality and on the long term success of the organization through the satisfaction of the customers, as well as the benefit of all its members and society (Porter, 1980).

According to Oakland (1993), TQM is seen as the most comprehensive approach to quality thinkable for an enterprise. He asserts that the pillars of Total Quality Management are:

T stands for Total: It is the integration of the Staff, Suppliers, Customers and other Stakeholders. Away from Party specific thinking to a more holistic approach.

Q Stands for Quality: It is the Quality of the work and the process of the Enterprises leading to Quality of Products.

M for Management: It stresses the leadership task “quality” and the Quality of leadership. From a scientific point of view TQM can count as school of leadership. From the enterprises point of view TQM can be seen as a leadership Model.

Profile of the Study Areas (a) History of Etisalat and Definition of Change

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) is one of the largest corporations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which provides telecommunication services in the country. It was established on August 30, 1976 primarily to serve the UAE, but now, it is also providing its quality services in the Middle East Region.

There are three forms of communication services that is provided by Etisalat:

(a) Voice communication – includes “telecommunication, broadcasting and information technology”,

(b) Wireless communication – includes mobile telephones and GSM services;

(c) Data communication.

In order to survive the increased competition and technological advances, the company has undergone several changes. Etisalat created a new corporate identity and a new symbol for the company. The new company logo has three main parts that have very important meanings: (a) green background – to “signifies solidity, inspires confidence and denotes Etisalat the mother brand”, (b) red dot – “represents technology and the world of communication”, (c) the three curves – stands for the letter “E” in Etisalat and Emirates and represents the strategic expansion and moving beyond boundaries locally and internationally. The symbols put together represent a whole new vision for the company to provide high-quality service in the Middle East.

Etisalat is now implementing its new corporate strategy through its program project EDGE – Enhancing Development and Growth Etisalat. The five pillars of the Project EDGE includes: (a) “achieve customer focus and satisfaction through sales and marketing excellence”, (b) “drive operational efficiency”, (c) “proactively engage regulator”, (d) “build people and organizational capabilities”, (e) focus portfolio and accelerate profitable growth and leadership beyond the UAE”.

Project EDGE is the response of the company in the advent of globalization. Because of globalization there is now intense competition in the market, especially internationally and from investors. And the introduction of new products from foreign counties, allow the consumer to make comparisons and therefore increase their standards of the products being offered to them. Globalization also brought with it advanced technologies from other countries that puts pressure on the technology of Etisalat. Another factor that needs to be considered is the market saturation; the company has to consider innovations and additional services to be offered to the consumers that they may able to remain in the industry and flourish.

Change is the only constant thing in the world, as the saying goes. Organizations have to undertake restructuring and changes from time to time in order to stand against the pressures in the economy and market and from the members of the organization itself. Change, as characterized by Kurt Lewin, involves three stages: (a) “unfreezing the current state”, (b) “moving to the new state”, (c) “refreezing to the new state”, (1998). The three-stage approach of Lewin, showed how change is considered to be a continuous process. After the third stage, the “refreezing to the new state”, the company again has to undergo “unfreezing the current state”, the one established by the restructuring and changes done before, that may be survive competitions.

In 1980, William Bridges, outlined the personal transition process that human undergo in the course of their lives. The first transition phase is the ending which emphasizes “the need to be recognized and celebrated”. (1998) The process in personal transition is the new beginning which focuses “on new priorities and being alert to what the future has to offer”, (1998).

The parallel stages of change both by Lewin and Bridges depict change as a continuous process. Change does not stop at any level, even after the third and last stage. After the third and last stage, the company or the organization still has to undergo the first stage if they are met with bigger challenges that require restructuring and changes. The process of change is therefore a cycle in the organization that cannot be bypassed if the goal is to be successful and persist in the industry.

(b) History of Zain

Zain Group is a mobile telecommunications company founded in 1983 in Kuwait as MTC or Mobile

Telecommunications Company, and was later rebranded to Zain in 2007, Zain has commercial presence in 8 countries across Africa and the Middle East and employs over 5000 people. On 8th June 2010, the Indian company Bharti Airtel completed a deal to buy Zain’s businesses in 15 African countries for $10.7 billion. Due to this deal Zain’s Africa presence reduced from 17 countries to just 2 countries: Sudan and Morocco.

Zain has a commercial presence in six Middle Eastern countries: Bahrain, Irag, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon (as mtc touch) and Saudi Arabia. It is also present in two North African countries: Morocco and Sudan.

Zain owns 31% o f INWI (formerly known as Wana) in

Morocco through a joint venture.

In March 2009 Zain announced the opening of its flagship store in Bahrain. The store will be eventually linked to a network of similar outlets across Zain’s Middle East and Africa operations.

Zain in Iraq achieved 48% EBIDTA margin through a number of successful Drive 11 initiatives to reduce network and commercial costs.

Zain was the dominant mobile player in Jordan with over 2.4 million customers and a market share of 44%. Zain in Jordan covered 98% of the population and 67% of the total country through 1,418 sites as of June 2009.

Zain in Kuwait is the Group’s flagship operation, which was established in 1983 and made history in 1994 by becoming the first telecom operator to launch commercial GSM services in the region.

In January 2009 Zain made a successful tender to continue managing one of Lebanon’s two mobile operations, MIC2 branded as mtc touch, for an additional year commencing February 1, 2009, extendable for one year as per the new management agreement terms set by the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications.

Zain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched commercial services in late August 2008 and succeeded in receiving over 3.7 million customers in less than a year.

Mobitel (later Zain) in Sudan is the leading mobile provider with a commanding 57% market share.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

All Scientific and Social Scientific Research is necessitated by a perceived problem (Nzelibe and Ilogu, 1996). As such, the quest and desire of the researcher to study on this topic: “Influence of Total Quality Management (TQM) in Increasing Customer Satisfaction”. Over the years, the number and size of business have increased greatly within and across industries. Companies producing the same products or rendering the same services have to device workable strategies on how to woo the limited number of customers to their sales.

Managers in Western Countries and parts of Asia have been known to have delved into the use of TQM in order to enable them compete in the global market, and they seem to be doing quite well (at least, evidence from Japanese and USA Auto and Customer Electronics Companies is a clear example).

The necessity of TQM in Nigerian business organizations stems from the fact that foreign companies have continued to dominate the local market in virtually all sections of the economy, except for those sectors that are under complete government control. The problems with the Nigerian companies are quite enormous and these can be put as follows:

First, the Nigerian companies are evidently lagging behind in the global market competition, thus, they are fast losing ground, with some of them going out of business completely.

Secondly, the Nigerian mangers have seemingly failed to explore TQM for their organizations. They have rather gotten stuck in the endless pursuit of what does not work for them any longer, the “blind” pursuit of profit, stability and growth.

Thirdly, they have failed to appreciate that change is necessary and that a change from the above state pursuit to the pursuit of a customer focus strategy is a long overdue strategy decision that has been tipped to guarantee the ultimate realization of the former goals.

Fourthly, due to lack of knowledge of the prospects of TQM, or lack of adequate finance, or engagement of inexperienced personnel in the TQM process, or lackadaisical attitude on the part of the organization concerning TQM, the TQM Practices in the Nigerian Industries which the Aviation industry is part of, becomes problematic hence, the weak or poor performance of these industries in the actualization of their desired goals and objectives.

It is therefore, in the light of the foregoing that the study is set to examine the reality in the above problems and to further identify and determine other TQM Practices Problems; equally, the Prospects that are likely to emerge in the proper practices of TQM shall be made known.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study: basically, the major objective of this study is to investigate the Influence of Total Quality Management (TQM) in Increasing Customer Satisfaction, with a focus on two ICTs Companies in Nigeria (Etisalat Nigeria and Zain Nigeria).

In the light of the foregoing, the study will examine the following critical issues:

a. To determine the strategic management process involved in the Total Quality Management Practices;

b. To examine the methods of planning and training attached to Total Quality Management Practices;

c. To ascertain if there is any form of transformational leadership teamwork, employees involvement and empowerment, customer focus and satisfaction in the course of adopting Total Quality Management technique as strategic weapon.

d. To determine whether training, re-training and development is a pre-condition for achieving success in implementing Total Quality Management;

e. To find out if employee participation in strategic planning, and the commitment to work is necessary for the successful implementation of Total Quality Management.

f. To ascertain if there exists any relationship between Total Quality Management, increase in teamwork performance and customer satisfaction;

g. To identify the various problems and prospects associated with the implementation of Total quality Management (TQM).

1.4 Research Questions

From the nature of the research study, overview and problem statement, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

a. Does Total Quality Management (TQM) influence Increased Customers Satisfaction?

b. What are the strategic management processes in Practices in Etisalat Nigeria and Zain Nigeria?

c. Do training, re-training and development serve as a pre-condition for achieving success in the Practices of Total Quality Management?

d. What are the methods of planning, training, re-training and development attached to Total Quality Management Practices in Etisalat Nigeria and Zain Nigeria?

e. Is there any form of transformation, customer focus and satisfaction in the course of adopting Total Quality Management techniques as strategic weapons?

f. Does employee participation in strategic planning, and their commitment to work necessitate the successful practices of Total Quality Management?

g. Is there any relationship between Total Quality Management, increase in work performance and customer satisfaction?

h. Could poor knowledge of TQM prospects, inadequate finance, non involvement of TQM experts, and lackadaisical attitude lead to weak or poor performance of organizations which the Aviation Industry is part of, in the actualization of their set/ desired goals and objectives?

i. What other problems are likely to hinder the effective/ efficient implementation of TQM against result(s) actualization?

j. What are the accruable prospects from the effective/ efficient implementation of Total Quality Management?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Strategic management is currently gaining ground in management thinking. At the same time, fashioning out a successful corporate strategy is central to effective strategic management in the light of the growing competitive and even turbulent business environment.

It wouldn’t be overemphasized to say that competition and turbulence is pronounced today in the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry. This industry is likely to be steeped in distress and devastated by mismanagement, if quality and improved management style is not maintained. Any attempt therefore, at finding solutions to the management problems likely to beset the industry must be a worthwhile effort.

Therefore, this study attempts to identify the underpinnings of successful management in Nigeria’s ICTs Industry in relation to the Total Quality Management Strategy. It investigates the extent to which the strategy has helped Etisalat Nigeria and Zain Nigeria to achieve substantial success.

It is believed, however, that a successful inquiry into this area will offer empirical insights on survival strategies for ICTs and other allied organizations. This will be an eye opener and a verifiable reference for combating any likely organizational distress. Successful replication of the TQM strategy in both surviving and distressed organizations will lead to the emergence of more high performing organizations, and restoration of confidence to the organizations.

It is envisaged that apart from leading to a more virile ICTs system well positioned to contribute to the growth of the national economy; managers in other sectors can benefit immensely from the research findings.

Furthermore, the study is crucial as to pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses evident in the practices of Total Quality Strategy among Nigerian firms. This will enable firms to fine-tune their TQM programs towards better results. It is also hoped that the study will encourage further research on TQM practices in Nigerian ICTs Industry in particular and on ways to manage successfully in Nigeria in general.













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