Conhecimento, administração e qualidade : a gestão da qualidade total como processo cognitivo




The objective of the present work is to show that total quality management (TQM) can be understood as a cognitive process, allowing its multidisciplinary analysis, in a coherent and integrated way. Knowledge has been selected as object of this study because it plays a fundamental role in all quality management techniques and, beyond that, is studied by various philosophical and scientific disciplines, playing a fundamental role in the understanding of human nature. To support the analysis, we initially gather elements from four disciplines, that contribute important concepts to the understanding of the cognitive process within total quality management. The first one is knowledge theory, which investigates the fundaments and validity conditions of knowledge. The second is cognitive psychology, which focuses the mental processes that participate in the construction of know ledge. The third comprehends social sciences, including: (a) the emergence of knowledge from social relations, (b) human communication and (c) the relations hip between knowledge and social structures. The fourth consists in the general systems theory, allowing to integrate fundamental aspects of the former approaches. The study of the cognitive process in management is effected through the analysis of some of the most important theories and techniques: foundations of authority in organizations, classical school, organization as a social system, management as entrepreneurship, organizational culture and communication as the fundamental instrument of management. Total quality management appears as the junction of two evolutionary processes, the first one represented by successive improvements of management theory and practice, and the second by product quality improvement techniques, which presently involve business as a whole. The fundamental aspect of TQM is to put the image of the customer as reference for the organization s cognitive process, in the place formerly occupied by the image of the boss, which is the reference for traditional business. To effect this change, two steps are necessary. First, it is necessary that the group develops an initial representation of the customer as an "other" of a social relation. This step is effected through "quality awareness", in which quality concepts are presented and discussed with managers and workers. Secondly, it is necessary to implement a communication system that brings this image to life, bringing, so to say, the customer inside the organization. This step is effected through integrated application of total quality management instruments: structural, support and analytic. The fundamental tool of TQM is the quality cycle,a cognitive process model, which is the basis upon which the other instruments are built. Total quality management appears then as a human communication process, as a dialogue involving the organization s cooperator sand clients, in which individual differences are respected and unity of action is obtained, aiming at the benefit of society.


psicologia cognitiva psicologia social teoria do conhecimento teoria da administração teoria dos sistemas gestão da qualidade total

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