Qualitative vs. Quantitative Methods

Abstract:[This abstract is based on the author's abstract.]

Using statistical methods in certified quality management systems (QMSs) has been discussed ever since the advent of total quality management (TQM) and ISO 9000 certification. Yet statistics, while necessary for quality, remain an often neglected component of quality management systems. Concepts such as quality circles and W. Edwards Deming's 14 points have been widely accepted and used, while statistics have not. Among the reasons leading to this disparity are the problems of measurement difficulties and quantitative illiteracy, the latter being especially hard to overcome. Quantitative illiteracy includes not only statistical literacy (using proper statistical methods to solve a problem), but also computer literacy and online literacy. Another problem is that ISO 9000:1994 mentioned statistics only briefly and did not even link to statistical standards until 1999. The situation improved with ISO 9000:2000, but organizational, national and …

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