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TQM gurus and consultants market it as the best change initiative that provides organizations with a competitive advantage. They also say that it is a cure for all problems that companies face. This dissertation provides intellectual and factual data showing that this is not always the case. There are areas where TQM provides a needed change initiative along with others. In addition, once most companies treat improving their processes as a priority, TQM ceases to give a competitive advantage since it becomes a basic entry point into the competition. The dissertation gives examples showing that contrary to what the consultants propagate: 1. It is not a panacea for all problems in organizations and that it fits all types of organizations, 2. It is not the only way to give organizations a competitive advantage, and 3. TQM's fit for the services sector is discussed with emphasis on customer satisfaction. Also covered are some limitations of TQM including empowerment, times of paradigm shifts, major process changes, and reward systems.

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