Ishikawa

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A Forefather of TQM Principles: Kaoru Ishikawa

Total Quality Management (TQM) principles are based off of the philosophies of numerous individuals – W. Edward Deming, Joseph Juran and Philip Crosby, to name a few. One such individual is Kaoru Ishikawa. Touted as the “Father of Quality Circles and as a founder of the Japanese quality movement” (Beckford, 2002), his philosophy on quality control is critical to understand TQM in general. Knowing the fundamentals/ building blocks of TQM can be used to shape the future direction and improvement of TQM. Ishikawa hoped his philosophy would improve quality in work, which in turn would lead to improvement in quality of life (Beckford, 2002). Ishikawa was born July 13, 1915. He graduated from the University of Tokyo where he received an engineering degree in Applied Chemistry. Later he would become a professor of the same University. After graduating, he joined the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) in 1949. This could be seen as the first steps he took towards developing his quality control philosophy and following in the footsteps of his father in Management Science (Hutchins, 1989.) The core ideas of Ishikawa’s philosophy on quality control - companywide quality control (CWQC) - can be divided into three main concepts (Beckford, 2002). The first is that quality is based off of a holistic approach. The second core idea of Ishikawa’s philosophy is that there is active participation in the quality program amongst the employees. The third core idea is that there is direct, simple communication between management and workers. A holistic approach means that not only is the end product/service a quality product/service but also extends to the process that developed it. The end is just as important as the means. The company has a program in place that strives for quality management, quality workers and quality processes within all levels of the company. I think this concept of quality at all levels within a...
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