A management philosophy that seeks to improve the quality of products and services by improving work processes in response to feedback from employees and customers. Early adopters of the TQM practices were Japanese corporations that were struggling to rebuild their manufacturing capabilities after World War II. The Japanese were early adherents to the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, a TQM consultant and pioneer. In the 1980s, TQM began to catch on in other countries, such as the U.S. TQM also places emphasis on detecting problems in the system or process, instead of leveling blame at an individual or department. See also ISO 9000.