A proactive, systematic, strategic approach to management that ; involves all employees and all aspects of the business in meeting or exceeding customer expectations, both externally and internally, with staff being regarded as internal customers. The philosophy is one of improvement and prevention. It involves the development of a culture where all management and employees know their ‘customers’, care and take pride in their work, are involved in continuous improvement of products and processes, and aim ‘to do the right thing and do it right first time’. TQM is, in fact, a ‘buzz-word’ used by academics for a theoretically perfectly managed organisation, where the following would be evident: A clear mission with vision and values understood by the whole workforce that underpin strategic, tactical and operational decisions; All staff who are ‘customer focused’ so that meeting or exceeding customer expectations (whether internal or external customers) is their primary role; A culture of continuous improvement (kaizen) geared towards increasing customer satisfaction; Decisions are ‘fact based’ ie not taken by hunch or bias; Communications, both laterally and vertically, are unencumbered; No one has any reluctance or fear in making suggestions; Quality measures are in place so that variations from standard can be measured and corrective action taken; Problems are not seen negatively but as an opportunity for improvement; All staff are appropriately trained, empowered, and compensated; Management is concerned, in terms of organisational improvement, in coaching, training and supporting the workforce, rather than the traditional dictatorial / supervisory approach;