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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT .. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION.. 1.1 Purpose of the Study... 1.2 Context of the Study... 1.2.1 Indian Steel industry & market overview... 1.2.2 Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) 1.2.3 Rourkela Steel Plant.... 1.2.4 Quality as perceived by SAIL..... 1.2.5 Corporate Plan 2012.... 1.3 Significance of the Study... 1.4 Summary..... CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODS & PROCEDURES.. 3.1 Purpose of the Study.. 3.2 Research Design. 3.3 Research Questions.... 3.4 Participants. 3.5 Data Acquisition. 3.6 Instruments Used... 3.7 Data Analysis. 3.8 Limitations.. CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS & FINDINGS 4.1 Review of Methodology. 4.2 Findings & Interpretation................

TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONTD.)


CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS.. 5.1 Conclusions..... 5.2 Recommendations.. 5.3 Implications for Future Research... REFERENCES. Research Papers Books & Manuals.. Websites APPENDIX - Questionnaire.

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LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES


Percentage of domestic steel consumption sector-wise Domestic steel demand pattern in India Product Mix of RSP Production projection RSP capacity after expansion Two views of quality Reliability analysis Factor important for SAIL to outperform in market Management treats quality important than cost Management treats quality important than time Sufficient resources are available for quality control Clear work instructions available to all employees Clear documentation available for quality control Quality data known to all employees Customer feedback important for quality production Quality circles play important role in quality management All employee decisions welcomed in quality related decisions Bottom of hierarchy employees involved in quality related decisions Receive periodic training realted to TQM Training in SQC tools given Frequency of use of SQC tools Are you aware of six sigma concept

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ABSTRACT
Quality in todays world is an important factor for a companys business growth and competitiveness. SAIL is known as the largest integrated steel manufacturer in India and RSP is considered an important contributor to the saleable steel volume of SAIL. The quality aspects in RSP are mostly controlled by the R & C lab and TQM departments. This research study focused on the determination of the status of quality management at RSP with respect to employee perceptions of quality, employee involvement and knowledge regarding quality matters and improvement. The study found that the overall quality management at RSP is upto the optimal level but there are some loopholes. The study showed that the basic knowledge about quality is at par but knowledge about new concepts that are becoming critical in manufacturing are lacking which needs to be dealt with. Future research can be done at other functional departments to determine results regarding similar attributes and these can be combined to arrive at an effective quality management program with zero deficiency.

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose of the Study


To empirically evaluate the current quality management practices employed at Rourkela Steel Plant, a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited, in terms of employee perceptions, employee involvement and knowledge and devise any suggestions for getting over the deficiencies.

1.2 Context of the Study


1.2.1 Indian Steel Industry and its market overview: The global steel scenario shows that India is now the 5th largest producer of crude steel (Ernst & Young, Global Steel: 2010 trends 2011 outlook) and is amongst the cheapest steel producers in the world due the abundance of cheap and good quality iron ore and also the existence of low cost manpower. These reasons had lead to the growth of the Indian steel sector registering a growth rate of 7.7% and 7.1% in crude steel production and finished steel consumption during the last five years (2005 2010). There is a strong demand pattern for steel products in India. The domestic steel consumption of the last five years shows a growth rate of about 9.6% as against 6.9% as projected in the National Steel Policy (2005). The infrastructure sector in India is the major steel consumer accounting for 61% of total steel consumption. The steel demand is expected to rise continuously at the rate of 10% till 2020. Due to increased demand the major steel producers have to adopt expansion plans to meet the intensive competition not only between the domestic producers but also between the international counterparts.

% of Steel Consumption in India


Packaging 5% Consumer Durables 3% Capital goods 11% Others 12% Infrastructure 61%

Automobiles 8%

Figure 1: Percentage of domestic steel consumption sector-wise (Source: Global Steel: 2010 trends 2011 outlook, Ernst & Young via Crisil Research)

Steel Demand in India


Steel Demand (in million MT) 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 Flats

31.6 22.2 17.0 24.7 19.6 26.5 23.0 27.3 21.9 24.5

32.1 30.1
Alloys

2.2

2.5

2.7

3.2

3.1

3.4
Longs

Year

Figure 2: Domestic steel demand pattern in India (Source: Indian Steel Industry Overview, 70th OECD Steel Committee Meet, Paris)

1.2.2 Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL): SAIL has well positioned itself in the steel producers segment in India to tap the opportunity of the growing demand of steel products. Years down the line the company has grown into a huge elephant. Currently SAIL is operational through its five integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Bokaro, Burnpur, Durgapur and Rourkela, that accounts for the major steel production in India. Apart from the integrated steel plants there are three special steel plants at Bhadravati, Durgapur and Salem and a subsidiary, Maharashtra Elektrosmelt Limited (MEL) at Chandrapur. SAIL had been awarded the Maharatna status by the government of India on May 19, 2010, which is to facilitate its expansion in both the domestic and global markets. SAIL had a sales turnover of 43,935 crores during 2009 2010 with the production of 14.5 million tonnes of hot metal, 13.5 million tonnes of crude metal and 12.6 million tonnes of saleable steel. 1.2.3 Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP): RSP is considered an important integrated steel plant under SAIL, set up in 1959 in collaboration with the leading steel makers of Federal Republic of Germany. The uniqueness of RSP lies in the production of flat steel products such as plates, hot rolled coils, cold rolled sheets and coils, electric resistance welded (ERW) pipes, spiral welded pipes and silicon steel sheets and coils. RSP is also the first to adopt a cost effective and quality centered continuous route to process 100% of the steel produced.

The present production capacity per annum of RSP is 2.0 million tonnes of hot metal, 1.9 million tonnes of crude steel and 1.671 million tonnes of saleable steel. The product mix of RSP is as follows: PRODUCT MIX Product Mix Plate Mill Plates Hot Rolled Plates Hot Rolled Coils Electric Resistance Welded Pipes Spiral Welded Pipes Cold Rolled Sheets & Coils Galvanized Sheets Electrolytic Tin Plates Silicon Steel Sheets Total Saleable Steel Tonnes / Annum 299,000 92,500 398,000 75,000 55,000 433,000 160,000 85,000 73,500 1,671,000

1.2.4 Quality as perceived by SAIL: SAIL has devised its own quality philosophy and policy to support its operations and achieve its targets through sincere adherence to these. Quality philosophy: According to SAIL, quality means clearly identifying customer needs both internal and external and meeting these requirements without error, first time every time.

The philosophy also suggests that quality is comprehensive in nature and applies to all business activities. It can only be achieved through commitment and is measurable by the cost of non-conformance to requirements. Quality is seen to build into the process and comes through prevention rather than inspection. Finally the philosophy indicates that quality improvement is a continuous process. Quality policy: The quality policy of SAIL suggests building and sustaining an organization which is customer oriented, innovative and where quality is the hallmark of every operation. To achieve this company has always tried to: Create an astounding reputation in the market by supplying competitive and reliable steel and related products and services of international standard. Develop, adapt and improve technologies to attain higher productivity, better cost effectiveness, quality performance and greater customer satisfaction. Play a lead role in developing new products and markets. Develop highly skilled and motivated human resources imbued with a strong sense of values. Create a working environment and conditions to support the attainment of excellence. The above quality policy is also practiced at the plant level and all employees are responsible for following and adhering to the guidelines in their daily work. 1.2.5 Corporate Plan 2012: To meet the rising demand and also combat adverse situations and attain sustainable profits SAIL has prepared a Corporate Plan 2012 to orient itself to the long term strategic

goals of the company. The plan is based on the report by the Center for Policy Research (CPR) released in November 2002, which dealt with the perspectives up to 2025 and indicated that construction (infrastructure) and transportation of oil and gas segments will show tremendous growth in India. So to tap this opportunity the SAIL management came up with the Corporate Plan 2012 that aims at building sustainable competencies based on growth by exploiting fully the potential of available assets, differentiation through quality and service, profitability by excellence in production and cost reduction, and leveraging optimally skill and knowledge base of the companys human resources. The Corporate Plan 2012 is also designed by analyzing the existing competition in the domestic steel market where SAIL is currently the market leader with 26% market share. Thus the plan is to increase the current level of hot metal production from 15 million tonnes per annum to 26 million tonnes per annum. This would also help in enhancing the market share to 27% under the projection that the domestic consumption of finished steel would be about 60 million tonnes by 2011 2012. The corporate plan also assumes that the overall steel consumption is at about 8% per annum.

PRODUCTION PROJECTION Production (Million tonnes) Hot metal Crude Metal Saleable Steel Actual in 2007 2008 15.2 14.0 13.0 Actual in 2009 2010 14.5 13.5 12.6 Projection for 2011 2012 26.0 24.5 23.0

This corporate plan has also been adopted at the unit level and RSP is being restructured for the expansion to meet the projected demand and competitive pressures. Post expansion the capacity of RSP as envisaged is as follows: RSP CAPACITY AFTER EXPANSION Production Current Level (Million Tonnes / Annum) Hot Metal Crude Metal Saleable Steel 2.0 1.9 1.671 4.5 4.2 3.9 Level after expansion

1.3 Significance of the Study


The downside here for SAIL and thus for RSP would be the intense competitive pressure in the market and also the internal challenges related to cost and operational attributes. The growth of the steel market, the focus on key strategic goals of enhancing the market share and achieving excellence in quality and improving profits, and also the success of the Corporate Plan 2012, would therefore solely depend on the focused attention of quality and cost competitiveness. Therefore quality seems to be the center point in differentiating the position of a company in the market ladder; so this study would help in the analysis of the present status of the quality system operational in RSP, the readiness of management and employees in coping up with the competitive pressure to achieve the excellence in quality and to contribute to the secured position of SAIL as the market leader in the domestic steel business.

1.4 Summary
Quality is the center point of a successful steel manufacturer, and forms the basis of all its strategic plans both short term and long term. The excellence in quality is directly proportional to the market share of the company and also helps in combating the competitive pressure due to its counterparts. Compromise with quality is unacceptable and would definitely affect the health of the company in the long run.

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


This chapter reviews the appropriate literature on quality and quality management suitable for the current research study. Gryna (2009) believes that quality is the cardinal priority for organizations operating in an environment of changing business conditions. The conditions that are of particular importance to our study are: 1. Competition 2. Customer focused organization 3. Higher levels of customer expectations 4. Performance improvement 5. Information revolution 6. Electronic commerce 7. Role of quality department. Gryna et. al. (2009) depicted two views of quality the internal or traditional view and the external or modern customer focused view. These views are shown in the following table. Internal View Compare product to specifications Get product accepted at inspection Prevent plant and field defects Concentrate on manufacturing Use internal quality measures View quality as a technical issue Efforts coordinated by quality manager Source: Gryna (2009) Customer-focused view Compare product to competition and to the best Provide satisfaction over product life Meet customer needs on goods and services Cover all functions Use customer based quality measures View quality as a business issue Efforts directed by upper management

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Gryna (2009) further suggests that a formal assessment of quality provides a guide for development of quality strategy and improvement by telling about the size of the quality issue and the areas demanding attention. Such assessment approach also provides the facts that are essential for stimulation of upper management to take action on quality. Kelemen (2003) gave a comprehensive and culturally sensitive analysis of quality that was focused on managerial and critical perspectives. The managerial viewpoint of quality suggests it as a technical and operational attribute. While the critical viewpoint suggests quality to be a complex social phenomenon. The managerial perspective of quality includes the following: 1. The product based approach this views quality as precise and measurable variable. 2. The manufacturing based approach this defines quality as the degree to which a specific product conforms to a design or specification. 3. The value based approach this considers quality as the degree of excellence at an acceptable price or the control of variability at an acceptable cost. 4. The user based approach this focuses on the capacity of a good/service on satisfying or exceeding the wants of a specific customer. The critical perspectives of quality include the following: 1. The transcendental approach this considers quality as innate excellence. 2. The social constructivist approach this considers a good quality product as that is validated by people responsible for quality the customers, the top management or a quality standard certification body.

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3. The discursive approach this makes language central to the social construction of quality. 4. The slogan approach this makes quality as a slogan to motivate the employees. Yavas (1995) through a survey found that employees at different levels of an organization have different perceptions to what constitutes quality. A factor analysis gave an insight that communication, managerial involvement, process improvement and responsiveness to both external and internal customer demands are significant quality attributes. Demirbag et. al. (2008) found four independent variables as the major factors affecting quality commitment of employees, viz. the leadership commitment towards quality; the quality orientation of the organization; team effectiveness and effectiveness of qualityrelated communication. Chaudhry et. al. (1197) explored the role of management and control of quality in a process industry and found that managers believed that implementing more quality control procedures positively contribute towards better quality, increased productivity, and improved exporting capabilities. Kemenade (2011) found that professionals agreed on the added value of certification systems. They are willing to contribute to the certification process, provided that a set of conditions is fulfilled. Sumukadas (2006) found that employee involvement is an important enabler for effective quality management practices. Hooshangi and Dowlatshahi found that the ISO-certified companies exemplified better and longer-term relationships with main/core suppliers, greater top managerial support

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and employee involvement and communication, and more effective quality processes than those of non ISO-certified companies. Gill (2009) found that customer's changing demands and the need for stringent cost management in fluctuating environments make TQM a practice of paramount importance for every enterprise, big or small.

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CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES 3.1 Purpose of the Study


To empirically evaluate the current quality management practices employed at Rourkela Steel Plant, a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited, in terms of employee perceptions, employee involvement and knowledge and devise any suggestions for getting over the deficiencies.

3.2 Research Design


The research design is that phase that deals with the procedures that are to be adopted for the research study. The procedures detail the kind of research that is to be carried out, the data collection techniques and the analytical procedures that are to be used to accomplish the research objectives. The study here required a descriptive research design; a descriptive research is conducted to study influences in a phenomenon after they have occurred or as they are occurring. Therefore descriptive research entails an objective and assumptions behind that objective. The descriptive research embodies all research activities conducted in the current time or the immediate past of the concerned phenomenon; quality management is the main concern here. The reason behind choosing the descriptive research design is as follows: 1. The study demands the description of characteristics of the organization, RSP and its employees. 2. The study also demands estimation of the proportion of the units of the population that exhibit the same attitude towards a quality related aspects.

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3. The study focuses on determination of the perceptions about quality influencing variables. 4. The study also focuses on determining the degree of association of the quality related variables. 5. Finally, the study is directed to generate specific generalizations. The further classification of this descriptive research converges to a more specific design which is the single cross sectional design, as only one sample of respondents was drawn and administered with the research instrument only once.

3.3 Research Questions


Based on the literature review following research questions were framed for achieving our purpose of the study: (1) Do the employee perceptions favor the quality management practices at RSP? (2) Does the employee involvement favor the quality management practices at RSP? (3) Do the employee knowledge sufficient to attain an effective quality management system?

3.4 Participants
The participants or the sample for the study was determined keeping in mind the type of research design employed. As our study was a descriptive research the type of probability sampling employed here was stratified random sampling. Since RSP has a hierarchy of employees categorized into two major grades E (managers & executives) & S (supervisors & technicians), so our sampling frame would comprise of two types of respondents - mangers & supervisors. These respondents are chosen on the basis of their

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involvement in quality management so they are all from the R & C Laboratory department and the sample comprised of only permanent employees. To calculate the sample size Cochrans formula was used.

Where n0 = sample size. Z = standard normal variable. The value of Z from the table for a confidence level of 95% is 1.96. e = desired level of precision (=0.05) p = estimated population of an attribute that is present in the population; with the assumption of a large population and unknown variability in the proportion, we usually assume a value of 0.5 (maximum variability). q = 1 p. Thus, the value of n0 is found out to be,

But in our study it was found out that the total numbers of employees working with R & C laboratory in various units are about 150 (N) (20 managers and 130 supervisors). So a finite population correction (FPC) for proportions is used to reduce the sample size. The FPC is calculated as follows:

( Where n = the actual sample that is to be collected.

n0 = the sample size without finite population correction (calculated above)

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N = the total population size (= 150). Thus the actual sample size for the study comes out to be,

Thus the number of respondents or participants was found out to be 108, but then we needed the proportionate number of managers (E grade) and supervisors (S grade) that were to be administered our research instrument. These numbers were found out to be,

3.5 Data Acquisition


The data collected for a research study are categorized into primary and secondary data. Secondary data for the study was collected by referring the previous relevant research work of other authors in quality management field. The secondary data helped in developing an approach to the study, identifying relevant key variables and also formulate the research questions that were needed to be answered to suffice our objective of the study. Primary data was collected by using the survey method of data collection, wherein a formal questionnaire comprising of questions with various scales were administered to the selected respondents.

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3.6 Instruments Used


As described above our research instrument was a formal questionnaire was set of questions with a prearranged order. The questions were formulated keeping in mind the type of respondents and the objective of the study. The format of the questionnaire was divided into 4 parts: 1. General information 2. Employee perceptions with respect to quality. 3. Employee involvement with respect to quality. 4. Employee understanding of quality concepts (SPC, TQM, Six Sigma). A dichotomous scale and a Likert scale with five response categories ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree was employed to obtain responses.

3.7 Data Analysis


Statistical analysis of the data was done through the use of relevant tests. Cross tabulations was used for deriving the conclusions. Reliability test for measuring the scale internal consistency was used. For the purpose of data analysis following softwares was used: 1. Microsoft Excel: for storing of data, facilitating import to other purpose. 2. SPSS: for quantitative analysis of data. A SPSS version 18 was used for the purpose.

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3.8 Limitations
The study is limited to Rourkela Steel Plant and the permanent employees working with the R & C Lab are of prime concern. The study excludes employees working with other departments or functions. The study provides only generalizations and due to time constraints technical aspects were not dealt with. The biasness in responses cannot be ruled out.

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CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS 4.1 Review of Methodology


A descriptive research design was employed for the study and a formal questionnaire was administered to the concerned sample to obtain the primary data. The questionnaire employed a dichotomous and Likert scale for obtaining the response. The data obtained was analyzed through SPSS using basic descriptive statistics and cross tabulations.

4.2 Findings and Interpretation


The following results were found out from the study: (1) The reliability test of the scale used in the study showed a good internal consistency with a Cronbach alpha value of 0.805, which is greater than the optimal acceptable limit of 0.7. So the scale correctly measures the purpose of the study.
Case Processing Summary N Cases Valid Excluded Total
a

% 99 0 99 100.0 .0 100.0

a. Listwise deletion based on all variables in the procedure.

Reliability Statistics Cronbach's Alpha .805 N of Items 21

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(2) Which factor is important for SAIL to outperform the market?

Interpretation: About 83.8% of the respondents believe that product quality is the most important factor for SAIL to outperform in the market, which concludes that quality is the most important factor for a company to compete in the market.

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(3) Management treats quality important that cost.


Designation * quality important than cost Crosstabulation Count Quality important than cost strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 5 15 20 agree 9 51 60 neutral 0 19 19 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation showed that most of the respondents (both managers & supervisors) agree that the management treats quality as more important than cost.

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(4) Management treats quality important that time.


Designation * quality important than time Crosstabulation Count Quality important than time strongly agree Designation Manager Supervisor Total 5 13 18 agree 9 40 49 neutral 0 26 26 disagree 0 6 6 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: From the above cross tabulation it was found out that there is proportionate number of respondents who agree as well as disagree to the fact that management treats quality important than time.

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(5) Sufficient resources are available for quality control.


Designation * sufficient resources available for QC Crosstabulation Count Sufficient resources available for QC strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 3 6 9 agree 9 30 39 neutral 2 40 42 disagree 0 9 9 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation shows that less than 50% of the respondents agree that sufficient resources are available for quality control.

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(6) Clear work or process instructions are available to all employees.


Designation * clear work instructions given Crosstabulation Count Clear work instructions given strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 5 8 13 agree 9 43 52 neutral 0 31 31 disagree 0 3 3 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation shows that although all managers agree with the fact that clear work instructions are given to all employees, but a significant number of supervisors disagree to this fact; thereby inferring that most employees perceive that the work instruction given to them are not clear and this can be considered as a loophole in the quality management practice.

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(7) Clear documentation is available for quality control.


Designation * clear documentation available Crosstabulation Count Clear documentation available strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 5 19 24 agree 9 59 68 neutral 0 7 7 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: From the cross tabulation it was found that most of the respondents agree that clear documentation is available for quality control, thereby inferring that the documentation quality is clear and understandable by the employees.

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(8) Quality data (defect rates, cost to quality, defectives) are known to all employees.
Designation * aware of quality data Crosstabulation Count Aware of quality data strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 3 6 9 agree 11 41 52 neutral 0 38 38 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation shows that although most employees are aware of quality data, there are a significant number of employees mostly supervisors who are not aware of this data, thereby inferring that not all employees are aware of the quality data which may affect the proper implementation of a effective quality management practice.

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(9) Customer (internal & external) feedback is important for quality production.
Designation * Q4(xv) Crosstabulation Count Q4(xv) strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 9 28 37 agree 5 57 62 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: From the cross tabulation it was found that all respondents both managers & supervisors believe that feedback of both internal & external customers is important for maintaining a quality production.

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(10) Quality circles play important role in quality management & improvement.
Designation * Q4(xviii) Crosstabulation Count Q4(xviii) strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 12 35 47 agree 2 49 51 neutral 0 1 1 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation showed that almost all the respondents believe that the quality circles in the organization are playing an important role in quality management, thereby inferring that quality circles are important teams for creating an effective quality management practice.

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(11) All employee suggestions are welcomed in quality related decisions.


Designation * Q4(xx) Crosstabulation Count Q4(xx) strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 14 43 57 agree 0 42 42 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation showed that all respondents both managers and supervisors agree that the suggestions of all employees are welcomed in quality related decisions.

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(12) Bottom of the hierarchy employees are involved in quality related decisions.
Designation * Q4(xxi) Crosstabulation Count Q4(xxi) strongly agree Designation manager supervisor Total 7 40 47 agree 7 30 37 neutral 0 12 12 disagree 0 3 3 Total 14 85 99

Interpretation: The cross tabulation showed that most employees agree that the bottom of the hierarchy employees are also involved in the decisions related to quality matters.

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(13) The study showed that all the respondents both the managers and supervisors are aware of the total quality concept and its importance in quality management. (14) Do you receive periodic training related to TQM & other quality concepts?

Interpretation: The above chart revealed that 97% of the employees agree that they are trained in quality concepts related to TQM, which also tells that the employees are aware of the importance of TQM in quality management.

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(15) Awareness of basic statistical quality control tools such as control charts, histograms, Pareto charts.

Interpretation: The above chart showed that 86.9% of the employees agree to be trained in basic statistical quality control tools and this provides with a picture that the employees are aware of the importance of the SQC in quality management.

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(16) Frequency of use of statistical quality control tools.

Interpretation: The above chart showed that most of the respondents use the SQC tools very frequently in their work which infers that SQC tools form an important factor in maintaining quality production.

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(17) Are you aware of six-sigma concept?

Interpretation: The above chart showed that a large number of respondents are either not aware or not sure if they know six-sigma concept, which infers that the employees are not aware of latest upcoming concepts in quality management and this may affect the effectiveness of the practice in long run.

(18) The study also revealed that all the respondents were aware of the ISO standards and certifications and their importance in quality management.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 Conclusions


The study showed that most of the employees perceive that RSP has been an important plant in the growth of SAIL. The employees perceive that the quality of products produced by the company are at par with the industry standards and are far more reliable than other similar domestic manufacturers. The employees are given training in basic quality concepts and statistical tools and these are almost used daily for the activities. The employees perceive that managerial support is always present for quality initiatives and quality improvement. The employees also believe that the company has been customer focused and follows a factual approach to quality management.

5.2 Recommendations
The following recommendations can be followed for getting over the deficiencies: (1) The study showed that not much bottom level employees are welcomed in quality decisions, so this practice can be improved by making more bottom level employees getting involved in such decisions which will certainly ensure quality improvement. (2) The study also showed that the availability of sufficient resources is lacking which may affect the quality control procedures and thus the effectiveness of quality management programs so it can be recommended to update the resources. (3) Although all employees are trained in basic quality concepts and statistical tools, but they lack knowledge regarding new and evolving quality concepts such as six

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sigma & lean manufacturing. This can be a drawback as most other steel manufacturers are employing such concepts to control & reduce defect rates and increase profitability. (4) A proactive awareness programmme can be developed by the management to make people aware of the new quality concepts and recent developments in the quality management field as applicable to the steel industry. (5) This kind of surveys can be conducted by the other departments periodically to ensure that the quality standards of the company remain up to the mark.

5.3 Implications for Future Research


It is proposed that future research consider conducting similar surveys for other department employees working at the plant site. These surveys will allow for insight into perceptions of quality and findings could be compared and contrasted against the standards. In addition, future research can be further explored with a similar study conducted for other departments (finance, marketing & sales) outside the plant premises. This will further give an insight of the overall perceptions about quality management not only in terms of production but also services. Finally SAIL should consider the feasibility of conducting research with a selected group of key customers across the country to obtain feedback on their perception of the SAIL QMS (ISO 9001:2000) and its impact (positive, negative or none) on the SAIL product and service offer to them.

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REFERENCES
Research Papers: 1 Aldowaisan, T.A. & Youssef, A.S. (2004). An ISO 9001:2000-based framework for realizing quality in small businesses [online]. Kuwait: ScienceDirect. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com [Accessed 25 May 2011]. 2 Dahlgaard, J.J. & Dahlgaard-Park, S.M. (2006). Lean production, six sigma quality, TQM and company culture [online]. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Accessed 25 May 2011]. 3 Everard A. van Kemenade, Teun W. Hardjono, Henk J. de Vries, (2011) "The willingness of professionals to contribute to their organisation's certification" [online]. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 4 International Organization for Standardization. 2010. Overview of the ISO system [online]. Available from: http://www.iso.org [Accessed 28 May 2011]. 5 Burhan Fatih Yavas. (1995) Employee perceptions of quality: Survey results [online]. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 6 Dowlatshahi,S., & Hooshangi,S. (2010) Enabling quality management systems in the maquiladoras: An empirical analysis[online]. Avaliable from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 7 Demirbag,M. & Sahadev,S. (2008) Exploring the antecedents of quality commitment among employees: an empirical study [online]. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 8 Chaudhry,S.S., Tamimi,N.A. & Betton,J.(1997) The management and control of quality in a process industry [online]. Avaliable from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 9 Sumukadas,N. (2006) Employee involvement: a hierarchical conceptualization of its effect on quality [online]. Avaliable from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 10 Dr. Cristobal Sanchez-Rodriguez, Dr. Angel R Martinez-Lorente, (2011) Effect of IT and Quality Management on Performance [online]. Avaliable from:

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http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 4 June 2011]. 11 Shad Dowlatshahi, Soheil Hooshangi, (2010) Enabling quality management systems in the maquiladoras: An empirical analysis [online]. Avaliable from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 7 June 2011]. 12 Jaspreet Gill, (2009) Quality follows quality: add quality to the business and quality will multiply the profits [online]. Avaliable from:

http://www.emeraldinsight.com [Assessed 8 June 2011].

Books & Manuals: 1 Malhotra,N.K. & Dash,S. (2010). Marketing Research an applied orientation, 5th edition (Pearson Education). 2 Krishnaswamy,K.N., Sivakumar,A.I., Mathirajan,M. (2009). Management Research Methodology integration of principles, methods & techniques (Pearson Education). 3 Gryna, F.M. 2001. Quality Planning & Analysis: From Product Development Through Use. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 4 5 SAIL panorama 2010. SAIL Annual Report 2010.

Websites: 1 2 3 www.sail.co.in www.jpcindiansteel.nic.in www.asq.org

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APPENDIX
QUESTIONNAIRE Sir, I am undergoing summer internship at RSP and request you to please spare some time for filling this survey, required for completing my project. Please fill as per the instructions given. Name: Department: Designation:

Grade: E ( ) or S ( )

Please tick () whichever is applicable. Choose the most appropriate answer. Q1. Do you think RSP has been practicing a well defined quality policy with adherence to its parent company, SAIL? (1) Yes (2) No (3) Not sure Q2. Do you think that the quality policy/philosophy of SAIL is attainable with the current resources (machinery & manpower) available at RSP? (1) Yes (2) No (3) Not sure Q3. Which factor do you feel important for SAIL to outperform in the market? (1) Product cost (2) Product quality (3) Brand/Company image (4) Established relationship with buyers Q4. Please go through the statements below and tick the option that you think is most acceptable with relation to RSP/SAIL.
Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

i. ii. iii.

iv.

v.

vi. vii.

viii.

The management treats quality as being more important than cost. The management treats quality as more important than time. The management ensures that the project quality goals are known to every member of the team/unit. The management is personally involved in the quality management process. The management continuously implements programs to improve the quality of products/work. Sufficient resources are available for quality control. Clear work or process instructions are available to all employees. Production is stopped immediately in case of quality related problems.

40 ix. x. Clear documentation is available for quality control. Quality data (defect rates, cost to quality, defectives) are known to all employees. Quality data are used as tools to manage quality. Automation/IT has considerably helped RSP in quality improvement. The quality management practices are at par with the industry standards. The quality standards of SAIL/RSP are better than other domestic steel manufacturers. Customer (internal & external) feedback is important for quality production. Zero defect quality culture is followed throughout the plant. Quality related matters are handled through teams. Quality circles play an important role in quality management & improvement. Quality circles facilitate problem solving and training related to quality concepts. All employee suggestions are welcomed in quality related decisions. Bottom of the hierarchy employees are involved in quality decisions. RSP provides training to total quality concept (philosophy) to all employees? (1) Yes (2) No Total quality concept deals with (tick all those applicable) (1) Elimination of variability (2) Reduction of downtime (3) Just-in-time production (4) Increase in yield (5) All of the above Do you receive periodic training related to TQM or other quality concepts? (1) Yes (2) No Training is given in the basic statistical quality control tools (Control chats, histograms, Pareto charts) in your plant? (1) Yes (2) No

xi. xii.

xiii.

xiv.

xv.

xvi. xvii. xviii.

xix.

xx.

xxi.

Q5. Q6.

Q7. Q8.

41 Q9. How often you use the above mentioned statistical tools in your work? (1) Always (2) Often (3) Sometimes (4) Never Are you aware of Six-Sigma concept? (1) Yes (2) No (3) Not sure Do you think Six Sigma concept & TQM are the same? (1) Yes (2) No (3) Not sure Are you aware of ISO standards and their importance in quality management? (1) Yes (2) No Are you aware of the fact that ERP is being set up for streamlining the activities of the plant? (1) Yes (2) No Do you think that the implementation of ERP will enhance the current operative quality of the plant? (1) Yes (2) No (3) Not sure Please rate the following quality management principles according to the extent followed in RSP. Mark your answer on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 for the highest & 1 for the lowest) (i) Customer focused organization (ii) Leadership (iii) Involvement of people (iv) Process approach (v) System approach to management (vi) Continuous improvement (vii) Factual approach to decision making (viii) Mutually beneficial supplier relationship

Q10. Q11. Q12. Q13.

Q14.

Q15.

Thank you for taking the survey.