Summary of Key Points and Terminology – Chapter 1
• Quality assurance refers to any action directed toward providing consumers with goods and services of appropriate quality. Although craftspeople were attentive to quality, the industrial revolution moved responsibility for quality away from the worker and into separate staff departments. This had the effect of making quality a technical, as opposed to managerial, function. This thinking carried through Western industry until about 1980. • W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran taught techniques of quality control and management to the Japanese in the 1950s. Over the next 20 years, Japan made massive improvements in quality, while the quality of U.S. products increased at a much slower rate. • Four significant influences brought about the “quality revolution” in the United States in the 1980s: consumer pressure, changes in technology, outdated managerial thinking, and loss of national competitiveness. Quality assumed an unprecedented level of importance in the United States. The quality movement has influenced not only product and service improvements, but the way in which organizations are managed, leading to the concepts of Big Q – managing for quality in all organizational processes as opposed to simply in manufacturing, referred to as Little Q, and of total quality management (TQM). • Quality initiatives have had their share of failures and disappointments, many of which resulted from poor management. Aligning and integrating quality principles into all fundamental business activities underlies the concept of performance excellence. Six Sigma, a customer-focused and results-oriented approach to business improvement, is revitalizing a focus on quality in the 21st Century. • Many forces are influencing the future of quality, and suggest that organizations must better prepare and train employees in the philosophy and tools of quality management and that business leaders take...
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