Many health organizations are trying total quality management (TQM). This approach represents a total paradigm shift in health care management and presents a series of potential conflict areas in the way health organizations are managed. These areas include TQM's participatory approach versus professional and managerial authority, collective versus individual responsibility, quality assurance and standards versus continuous improvement, and flexible versus rigid objectives and plans. This article reviews the areas of conflict and suggests a number of action guidelines for the successful implementation of TQM.
© 1990 Aspen Publishers, Inc.