Quality Management Journal Introduction - January 2002 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal Introduction - January 2002


This issue contains four outstanding articles on quality and process improvement. They focus on quality management in a range of countries, from the United States and Northern Ireland to Singapore, Brunei, and South Korea. In addition, they use a variety of methodologies, including detailed case analysis, sample surveys, focus groups, interviews, and grounded theory.

The first article deals with the phenomenon of de-evolution of SPC, whereby SPC rules and procedures are progressively ignored, overlooked, or modified as operators’ proper reactions to out-of-control situations are viewed by the organization as counterproductive and disruptive. In “Sociotechnical Reasons for the De-evolution of Statistical Process Control,” Harrison Kelly and Colin Drury of the State University of New York at Buffalo use focus group data, sample surveys, and focused interviewing to investigate this all-too-common phenomenon. Building upon W. Edwards Deming’s work on “tampering,” they develop a sociotechnical model of SPC de-evolution, striving to understand why attempts to integrate SPC into business systems can result in failure. They conclude by providing practical suggestions to avoiding SPC de-evolution.

The focus moves to Asia in “Overview of Quality Management Practices in Selected Asian Countries,” by Teng Heng Chan and Hesan Quazi of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Chan and Quazi conducted an in-depth study of quality management in nine Asian countries. They grouped the countries into three groups, based on the maturity of their quality management practices. South Korea and Singapore had the most mature practices, including many global and world-class quality management practices. The second group was composed of Malaysia, Philippines, India, and Indonesia, which have equivalents of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Thailand, Brunei, and Bangladesh, with ISO-type quality management systems, were in the third group. Regional factors important in these differences included the state of industrialization and economy in a country, the intensity of government quality management initiatives, the role played by multinationals in disseminating quality management knowledge, and the maturity of quality management practices in a country. They also cited micro-factors, specific to a particular country, including apathy about quality management among manufacturers (Brunei), the presence of a quality management champion (India), the personal involvement of a government member (Malaysia), and the push for survival (Singapore).

In the third article, Denis Leonard of the University of Wisconsin and Rodney McAdam of the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland use grounded theory to develop models for quality management in “The Strategic Dynamics of Total Quality Management: A Grounded Theory Research Study.” Although academics have studied quality management for a number of years, much of the research has been atheoretical. Leonard and McAdam strive to develop a theoretical explanation for quality management through their study of 19 organizations over a two-year period and in-depth longitudinal study of a single organization. This allowed investigation of the pattern of changes over time, rather than a snapshot of quality management at a given point in time. They developed a set of models to allow the impact and consequences of decisions on each other to be ascertained. The integrated set of models includes models for the TQM environment, TQM life cycle, key points of TQM application, strategic application of TQM, and strategic application of business excellence model. The longitudinal case study is used to illustrate the application and integration of the theoretical models.

The final article looks at quality examiners and their motivations. Jennifer Lehr of Fairleigh Dickinson University and Ronald Rice of Rutgers University conducted a study of volunteer quality examiners at Johnson & Johnson. They studied their motivation to become quality examiners, finding that basic motivational needs and organizational identification were important factors, in addition to demographic measures, such as the number of years an employee has been with the company. They also examined the examiner training program, making suggestions for improvement.

As you will see, this is a very interesting and well-written set of articles. I am confident that you will enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Barbara B. Flynn

Quality Management Journal


Barbara B. Flynn
Wake Forest University

George S. Easton
Emory University

William A. Golomski
University of Chicago

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

William Tony

Dave Nelsen

Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Cathy Schnackenberg

Jen Czajka
Jill Zimmerman

Jill Zimmerman


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

Roger G. Schroeder
University of Minnesota

Kalyan Singhal
University of Baltimore

Michael J. Stahl
University of Tennessee


Sanjay Ahire
University of Dayton

Susan D. Amundson
Arizona State University

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
Bowling Green 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
Ohio State University

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

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
Ohio State University

L. David Weller
University of Georgia

Ted Weston
Colorado State University

*International reviewer


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