This interim report is based on an 18-month evaluation of the ongoing implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the Omaha Police Department (OPD) (Nebraska).
The primary reason for introducing TQM into the OPD is to transform the department from a traditional model of policing to a democratic model that emphasizes the importance of employee empowerment, participative management, and improvement in organizational efficiency by changing the work process and enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. The evaluation focused on two issues. First, it investigated the extent of organizational change by addressing three areas in the change process: planning and training, structural change, and problem solving activities. Second, it explored the relative influence of a few important factors on the process of TQM implementation: the role of leadership and the existing organizational culture. The evaluation research design reflects a multi-method approach, which is suited for a process evaluation that is investigating organizational change. The evaluation found that overall the planning of TQM implementation was successful. The plan properly considered the level and scope of TQM training required. The amount of TQM training and the extent of exposure to related activities correlated positively with understanding TQM and supporting the need for a corresponding change in OPD organizational practices. After 18 months of TQM implementation, however, there has been no sign of a change in the traditional OPD culture. The environment is not favorable for the TQM implementation; the institutionalization of TQM in the OPD will apparently be a long-term project. 8 tables
Date Published: January 1, 1998