Quality Management Journal Introduction - October 2003 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal Introduction - October 2003


This issue of Quality Management Journal contains four excellent articles on a number of interesting topics, ranging from statistical process control (SPC) and the fit between quality approach and strategic orientation of the organization to design for the environment and the role of users in the software development process.

We begin with “Modified Nominal/Target Control Charts—A Case Study in Supplier Development,” by S. K. Vermani of The Boeing Company. Vermani writes about the major initiatives for cost reduction with suppliers, including the promotion of the use of statistics in process management and focus on the suppliers’ processes, rather than product conformance. However, SPC is a challenge in the aerospace industry, where there are many complex parts with a large number of quality characteristics. He describes a new methodology for short-run control charts, which leads to a reduction of the length of each control chart, a reduction in the number of charts necessary, and a focus on the process, rather than on individual quality characteristics. This approach, which lowers the risk of a false alarm and misinterpretation of freak events, is illustrated through a case study of a supplier.

In “Environmental Uncertainty, Strategic Orientation, and Quality Management: A Contingency Model,” Naceur Jabnoun, Azaddin Khalifah, and Attihir Yusuf of the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates examine a contingency model for matching quality approach with characteristics of an organization’s strategy and the amount of uncertainty in its environment. Based on the Miles and Snow well-known strategic orientation typology, they propose different types of quality approach for various contingencies. The focus on conformance of quality assurance fits well with defenders, which seek to secure a stable niche in the market. Both approaches are internally focused, emphasize control and efficiency, and require a formal, centralized organization. In contrast, total quality learning’s search for new pools of customers and new customer needs and services fits well with prospectors’ desire to locate and exploit new products and markets. Both of these approaches are externally focused, emphasizing learning, flexibility, innovation, and shared values. Similarly, total quality management fits well with the perspective of analyzers. This framework should provide a sound foundation for future empirical research.

Design for the environment (DfE) is the topic of Thomas F. Gattiker’s (Miami University) focus on the classroom article, “A Hands-On Application for Teaching Design for the Environment (DfE) Principles.” He describes an active learning approach, through which students discover DfE principles themselves. Students are provided with a videocassette to disassemble, brainstorming ways to reduce its environmental impact. They are led to focus on incorporating DfE principles in the design stage of a product in order to avoid end-of-life strategies for disposal of products after they are in full production. Through comparison of a traditional videocassette with a new type of videocassette with a considerably smaller environmental impact, they are able to develop and understand DfE principles.

Tor Guimaraes of Tennessee Technological University and S. Sandy Staples and James D. McKeen, both of Queen’s University, investigate the importance of involvement of users in the software development process in “Empirically Testing Some Main User-Related Factors for Systems Development Quality.” They studied 228 application systems in 23 organizations, each developed by IS professionals, examining the role of the extent of user (non-IS members of an organization) participation in development, user expertise, user/developer communication, user training, user influence, and user conflict. Although much has been written about the importance of involving users in the development process, prior research has had mixed results. This research corroborated the importance of user participation, user training, and user experience, finding that the other factors did not have a direct relationship with software system quality.

Combined, these articles deal with some very interesting topics, using a variety of approaches, including empirical, case study, and conceptual research and active learning on the part of students in the classroom.

Barbara B. Flynn

Quality Management Journal


Barbara B. Flynn
Wake Forest University

William A. Golomski

James B. Kohnen
St. Mary’s College of California

William Tony

David Nelsen

Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Cathy Schnackenberg

Jen Czajka
Laura Franceschi

Laura Franceschi


John Anderson
University of Minnesota

Selwyn Becker
University of Chicago

Robert E. Cole
University of California

James W. Dean, Jr.
University of North Carolina

James R. Evans
University of Cincinnati

John P. Evans
University of North Carolina

Frank M. Gryna
University of Tampa

John Hamburg
APEX, Inc.

David Luther
Luther Quality Associates

Ram Narasimhan
Michigan State University

Duke Oakes
Quality Management Division, ASQ

Roger G. Schroeder
University of Minnesota

Kalyan Singhal
University of Baltimore

Michael J. Stahl
University of Tennessee


Sanjay Ahire
University of Dayton

Kimberly A. Bates*
University of Toronto

Paul M. Bobrowski
Syracuse University

Kenneth Boyer
Michigan State University

Kenneth E. Case
Oklahoma State University

Injazz Chen
Cleveland State University

Barrie Dale*
University of Manchester

Richard Deane
Georgia State University

John Delery
University of Arkansas

Kevin Dooley
Arizona State University

Edward Duplaga
Winona State University

Susan West Engelkemeyer
Babson College

Byron Finch
Miami University

Mark P. Finster
University of Wisconsin

Laura Forker
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Soumen Ghosh
Georgia Institute of Technology

Glenn H. Gilbreath
Virginia Commonwealth University

John M. Groocock*
TRW (Retired)

Robert Handfield
North Carolina State University

Sandra J. Hartman
University of New Orleans

Marilyn Helms
Dalton State College

Mary Collins Holcomb
University of Tennessee

Ann Jordan
University of North Texas

Gary Kern
Indiana University South Bend

Jill Phelps Kern
Digital Semiconductor

David Kerridge*
Aberdeen University

Ray A. Klotz
Qualcomm Inc.

Frank Knight
FISI Madison Financial

Ronald D. Kurtzmann
Diamond Management Systems

Keong Leong
The University of Nevada–Las Vegas

A. Magid Mazen
Suffolk University

Satish Mehra
University of Memphis

Kim I. Melton
North Georgia College and State University

Henry R. Neave*
British Deming Association

Yoram Neumann
California State University

William Newman
Miami University

Gary Ragatz
Michigan State University

Gipsie B. Ranney
Belmont University

Richard N. Rosett
Rochester Institute of Technology (Retired)

Brooke Saladin
Wake Forest University

Helmut Schneider
Louisiana State University

Nirmal Sethia
California State Polytechnic University

John G. Surak
Clemson University

William Tallon
Northern Illinois University

Michael D. Tveite
The Tetrad Group

Peter Ward
The Ohio State University

L. David Weller
University of Georgia

Ted Weston
Colorado State University

*International reviewer


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