Implementing TQM in local government: The leadership challenge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Total quality management (TQM) has become increasingly important in government in recent years. TQM is a set of principles, tools, and processes for managing and improving the quality of government services (Keehley 1992). The many applications of TQM in local government include efforts in police departments, fire services, waste management, personnel management, transportation, public works, parks, and utilities (Galloway 1992; Osborne and Gaebler 1992). Local governments may find TQM attractive because it helps departments better understand the needs of their communities. Public agencies can thereby avoid designing their services exclusively around the customers who are most vocal in their complaints. TQM also allows administrators to contain costs and improve services. This is important to local governments that face increased responsibilities, decreased revenues, and public cynicism about their capabilities (Sensenbrenner 1991).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLocal Government Management
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Issues and Best Practices
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781134942718
ISBN (Print)0765611287, 9780765611277
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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