Quality Management Development in Mainland China
There is a famous expert of quality management once said: “21 century is a century of quality.” Quality is the life of a company. Quality is the precondition of a company’s profit. Quality is the precondition of creating the brand of a company. So, the company should focus on the development of quality. Developing the quality is the only way to having a continuous development in this market which is full of competition. Quality management (QM) represents one of the most significant research themes in operations management. As QM is playing a more and more important role in business enterprise. Many studies have investigated the effects of various QM practices on quality performance, operational performance, and business performance. Overall, these studies have shown that QM practices have a strong effect on quality and operational performance, but a weak or insignificant effect on business performance [B1, 2]. Our paper most concentrates on quality management development in mainland China. It was divided into the following 5 parts.
* Industrial Development Background in China
China has made great progress since it opened its economy thirty years ago and began to become a market economy. An extraordinary modernization process has taken place, particularly in the coastal areas and cities. New industries have been developing fast, enormous progress has been made in the business environment, and the country has considerably improved its participation in the global economy in which it is now a major player. However, important challenges lie ahead. These stem from a more demanding international environment, as well as from specific characteristics of China’s current stage of development[B2]. Since the 1950s, with the rapid development of productivity and science and technology changes greatly, people pay more attention to the durability, reliability, maintainability, economy, and safety of the production. Although QM has only emerged in the management literature over the past 15 years, antecedents of the movement have been in existence for much longer[B3]. Since 1978, China has carried out overall quality management, and has obtained a certain effect[B4].
* Historical Development of Quality Management in China
China is one of the earliest countries to develop a civilization. It is also the earliest country to adopt quality management [P1]. The origin of ancient quality management can be traced back from the sixteenth century BC to the eleventh century BC, in the handicraft industry. During the western Zhou Dynasty (eleventh to eighth century BC), the state promulgated some laws and decrees to control the quality of handcraft productions. One of the laws was that substandard products were not allowed to enter the market. Also the standardized system for length, capacity, and weight was formulated in order to carry on inspection of the quality of products[P2, P3]. Another example is that there were names of the artisan written on the hidden corner of the Terracotta Warriors and building bricks. However, over the past hundreds of years, quality management in China stopped progressing and felt behind. Since around 1949, quality management in the PRC began to develop along with the social-political-economic development. We can divide the quality management development into four ages: Quantity, Falling, Experimenting, and Developing. 1.Quantity
In 1949, the communists took over Mainland China and established a socialist society, adopted a central planned economy which was based on the Soviet Union enterprise management system. When the quality was found to be substandard, the inspection would be transferred back to its previous department[P4]. Quality management in that period was regarded as inspection quality control. In 1957, the first research group of quality management in China was established under the...