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Exploring quality management as a tool for organisational performance: a case study of eThekwini Municipality.

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Quality management is a component that is crucial for the achievement of excellence of any organization and for its survival in an ever-changing business environment. Total Quality Management implementation in the Southern African local government structures came in to existence with the intention of enhancing the Municipalities performance and to improve service delivery in the public sector. This research aimed at exploring the concept of Quality Assurance (QA) as a tool for Organizational Performance by investigating Quality Management practices and their effect on organizational performance, using eThekwini Municipality as a case study. This Municipality encounters issues of non-compliance and poor-quality information. Hence it was crucial to conduct this study in order to explore the effect of quality management practices on the performance of eThekwini Municipality to improve overall services. The study was directed by Deming’s theory of Management and Crosby’s theory of Quality Improvement. A qualitative, case study design was implemented in this study. Research was embarked with eThekwini Municipality management and staff within monitoring and evaluation department who were selected purposely due to their high level of knowledge of the subject matter. Data was collected through a semi structured interview process followed by thematic analysis data. Research results of the study revealed that the use of QA as a tool does have an impact on the performance of this municipality. However it also has challenges such as capacity deficiency and minimum continuous Total Quality Management education and training, amongst others. The research contribution was a gain in an understanding of these challenges, as indicated above. The study concludes with recommendations on the options that the municipality could consider for continuous improvement such as compliance with regulations, proper consideration of TQM training needs, filling of vacancies (resource allocation) and focus on customer satisfaction. The research findings are critical for establishing effective service delivery interventions that could improve the performance of eThekwini Municipality. Finally, further research in this area is recommended.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.