The government must devise a mechanism to
enable real and legal entities contact officials for clarifying any context,
standard or decision that will attune regulations of Iran with those of the
Management and trade systems have
adopted approaches in proportion to the gradual improvement of technological
capabilities and as a result of the widening domain of knowledge.
As knowledge about human abilities
increased, spiritual values were considered and nonphysical skills developed.
With the consolidation of those skills, human beings embarked on expanding
links among different phenomena. And as understanding of these links
increased, the focus on knowledge and its intrinsic values also increased.
Greater attention was paid to knowledge management. This value system
fluctuated until the international ISO standards were introduced.
While some countries paid more attention
to quantitative expansion, others focused on qualitative growth. Some
prioritized diversity while others attached more importance to renovation and
other phenomena. These countries have consequently been categorized according
to the degree of their advancements.
By considering standards as the basis of
establishing ties, the necessity of devising a lingua franca was felt. They
found that new values could not be promoted without overhauling the
traditional framework. Instead of seeking direct profits, some countries
embarked on reducing costs. Some focused on productivity by targeting
different variables. Yet another group opted for partnership and synergism to
both achieve these goals and create a win-win situation for all.
A person satisfied with a commodity or
service (ISO 9003 standards) had to ensure the processes through which the
said commodity or service has been provided (ISO 9002). For a commodity and
service to pass from the stage of satisfaction to trustworthiness with regard
to the provider, the person had to ensure the soundness of the thought behind
the process (ISO 9001). Such an evolutionary chain of expectations led to the
emergence of the 9000 series of standards by the International Standards
Due to lack of comprehensive
understanding about standards, initially they were ignored and people even
looked at them with pessimism. However, standards gradually found their place
when their repercussions became clear. As knowledge of corporate interests
expanded, other standards were also developed to meet corporate demands.
Comprehensive global standards systems
such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and greater synergy resulting from
engaging in foreign trade as stipulated by the World Trade Organization are
examples of this evolutionary process.
The article aims to discuss the grounds
that should be prepared for finding models to facilitate the country’s
interaction with the rest of the world.
Quality Needs of
People pay attention to
qualitative variables according to their cultural and social status.
International Standards Organization, which upholds values, has tried to bring
about homogeneity by proposing more comprehensive and effective variables in
the form of standards. This prevents the creation of a gap among different
strata and paves the way for qualitative growth through implementation of the
Sustainable development, which is the objective of
many countries, has made countries pass harmonious laws and establish
win-win trade relations
Sustainable development, which is the
objective of many countries, has made countries pass harmonious laws and
establish win-win trade relations. These laws are based on the three pillars
of society, economy and environment. Those intending to promote sustainable
development in their countries have found solutions that made people sensitive
about quality while considering the economic dimensions of quality and setting
special criteria for any activity that could affect the environment.
By compiling a variety of environmental
standards such as the ISO 14000 series, values were disseminated in different
ways. For example, with regard to goods or services, a range of qualitative
assessment indexes such as energy consumption, emission, toxicity potential,
possibility of environmental hazards, raw material consumption, area as well
as materials are considered.
Designers of standards subsequently
realized the importance of forging cooperation to materialize group interests
and came up with requisites of a quality management system that are
comprehensive and take advantage of different values.
TQM is a managerial approach
related to the performance of an organization focused on encouraging
participation of all members by satisfying them and benefiting all members of
the society. In this system, the supplier is considered a partner, employees
are considered assets and the customer is a business guide. Every organization
that intends to take advantage of TQM must note that this management tool must
also be designed and managed like any other plan. Comparing the type of
methods used is an important job for senior managers and their success depends
on awareness about details of a method. If not implemented in a good manner,
it will not be a useful tool.
For implementing the TQM system, we must
look at customers’ orientation, process and employees separately. To do this,
we must create a culture that will be crucial to the method’s success; this
culture says, “Do your job well, both for the first time and at all time”.
In this approach, the customer will not
only be satisfied, but the management will be oriented toward people’s demands
and continue to improve. By moving in this direction, we will reap many
benefits. It will make group work more appealing, provide more satisfaction to
customers and create a suitable atmosphere for assessment or realization of
group work. This will also help realize the fact that people shape the
quality, have a period of continued improvement and prevent the possibility of
While implementing TQM, principles such
as attention to customers, leadership, people’s participation, process
orientation, a systematic approach to management, continued improvement,
financial and accounting approach to decisions, as well as the reciprocal
relationship between consumers and suppliers are given the main consideration.
Institutions moving in line with this managerial approach are successful.
Experiences of countries that joined WTO in recent
years show that a gradual adaptive movement is a good solution for
Iran’s membership bid as well
Various managerial tools to achieve the
goals of TQM have been devised in the course of time, such as Pokayoke,
preventing errors, ISO 9000, Kaizen, development of qualitative role, as well
as reengineering of business process. Analytical tools such as cause and
effect, satisfaction and Teguchi techniques have been developed to satisfy the
customer. To gather, analyze and display needed information for gaining
customer satisfaction and reflecting the results of qualitative assessments,
tools such as graphs and pie charts are used.
Group profit approach is among
qualitative values and standards that sets the direction, but has created many
difficulties among different social strata. Among important standards are
product standards and their assessment procedures assure customers about the
quality of services. At times, the free flow of goods threatens many exporters
due to restrictions on observing standards in international markets as well as
Trade obstacles resulting from standards
and regulations are at times intentional due to international requirements.
This includes a wide range of industries such as computer, television,
foodstuff and soft drinks and has increased related costs. The added costs
include costs incurred to improve those products as well as costs related to
certificates or costs incurred when a commodity or service does not conform to
accepted standards. Despite these hardships, the potential of making concealed
profits in the long run exists for international customers.
Increasing growth and the
necessity of observing global standards led to the conclusion of international
treaties in the framework of World Trade Organization.
Observing the WTO agreements would
guarantee the large-scale success of economic measures at the international
level. To become a member of WTO, which is aimed at achieving international
harmonization, all principles related to administrative affairs, transparency,
revision of administrative regulations and nondiscrimination must be given
To attune our administrative affairs
with other countries, we must not only attach more importance to our values,
but should also pay attention to the demands of international customers.
Increasing awareness of various matters
will deepen the understanding of customers about what is happening inside the
country and prevent unrealistic speculations. Passing through the current
situation and moving toward transparency, as stipulated by standards, will
create conditions that will pave the way for greater acceptance of goods and
services by customers. Therefore, to get attuned to trade activities at the
global level, a growing trend of passing laws for harmonizing the primary
principles of WTO should facilitate Iran’s presence in the international
At times, the free flow of goods threatens many
exporters due to restrictions on observing standards in international
markets as well as fierce competition
Since domestic laws do not allow for
implementation of WTO regulations, the details of harmonizing domestic laws
with international ones must be outlined. This is a daring task for
specialized commissions and ministries.
Studying the experiences of countries
that have already gone through this process will show that we may have to
change thousands of laws and regulations in Iran to get attuned with global
regulations just as neighboring Turkey has taken rapid steps in this regard.
Benchmarking is the job of legal
researchers during transition periods and implies using expert views in
revising the laws and is a good method for attuning the Iranian society to
global standards. This may take years and will allow members of the
international community to watch changes in the country.
Measures taken by officials in such
countries as Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, South Korea, India, and China can be used
by the government to establish information centers, make certain laws public
and reflect them back to WTO authorities. Reflecting laws that cannot be
implemented inside the country will lead to adoption of unofficial policies by
The need to bring about administrative
changes is quite clear. For instance, regulations related to foreign
investments in the country need revision to be attuned to global conditions.
Frameworks that were considered in line with the demands of the society and
enjoy adequate resilience must be attuned to global frameworks. In addition,
administrative laws and international pacts will also be affected by this
Iran must not only speed
up the process of attuning to international regulations to be successful in
transmitting its values to the rest of the world, but also embark on creating
the specialized atmosphere needed for the task. The legal framework must also
be provided. Since there are many authorities that pass regulations, one of
the initial difficulties is to harmonize these decision-making centers.
Improving the country’s lawmaking
structure is necessary to engage in a win-win interaction with the global
community. To do so, values in conformity with TQM must be promoted.
Provincial authorities must correct their orientation so that their decisions
will be in line with the realities of WTO and pave the way for receiving
expert views from the elite within the framework of TQM. By shaping centers
that will rapidly incorporate reflections of thinkers with domestic
regulations, we will be moving in the right direction.
The government must devise a mechanism
to enable real and legal entities contact officials for clarifying any
context, standard or decision that will attune regulations of Iran with those
of the WTO. In this way, the resulting qualitative synergy could be used to
improve efforts to adapt policies and regulations for implementing the TQM
To address people’s concerns, special
assemblies not affiliated to a particular social stratum should be formed by
the people to help find appropriate answers. Such measures will lead to a new
division of responsibilities among executive officials and lawmaking
authorities, and this will help downsize the government.
WTO resolutions stipulate that no
foreign trade entity must be subject to discrimination with regard to pricing
and access to needed materials. Experiences of countries that joined WTO in
recent years show that a gradual adaptive movement is a good solution for
Iran’s membership bid as well.
For example, in China, which acceded to
WTO on December 11, 1999, measures were taken to harmonize the country with
global necessities. They divided foreign investments into encouraged,
permitted, restricted and prohibited categories, and gradually moved toward
attunement to the international community. Such a process could also be
emulated by other countries.
In China, foreign investments in such
projects as oil, gas, rail and air transport, road construction, water
treatment and waste disposal were permitted to speed up the process of
globalization. The country also encouraged production of many industrial
products, especially chemicals, machinery and electronic industries, through
Foreign investments in fields that were
directly linked to China’s national security, including military projects,
power plants and air traffic control, were prohibited. This also included
investments in radio and television stations. Activities of foreign investors
with regard to construction and management of water and wastewater projects
were restricted. We can work out a similar model.
Due to Iran’s high scientific potential,
especially in such fields as health, transportation, communications, higher
education and specialized manpower, foreign investments can promote production
standards in line with the country’s policies in preparation for WTO
accession. Projects harming the environment or deployment of old techniques
can be restricted.
On the basis of other countries’
experiences, specialized axes for adaptation of the current situation to WTO
regulations could include such fields as import and export of technology,
patent, foreign trade, oil and gas, mass communications, foreign investment,
legal services, transportation, banking and dumping.
and adaptation of products to global conditions will lead to agreements based
on qualitative values for promoting the standards of living. Using such a
system at the national level to establish ties with the global community will
not threaten domestic markets and can provide a better opportunity for
improving the quality of Iranian products and services.
treaties will bring opportunities to take advantage of corporate measures for
improving quality. To do this, we must follow countries that gradually moved
toward adaptation and seek their people’s views about joining WTO. Harmony
with global agreements will reduce fluctuation of domestic decisions and this
will enable Iran to demonstrate its capabilities.
By: Dr. Mohammad Ali Shafia