Quality Management Journal Introduction - July 2002 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal Introduction - July 2002


This issue contains detailed analysis of some of the fundamental concepts of quality management. We start with “Proposing a Compact Instrument to Measure Supplier-Customer Relationships in the Context of TQM Activities,” by Mohammad Aghdasi and Hamid Noori of the Laurier Business School of Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. They developed a brief yet comprehensive instrument for measuring supplier-customer relationships, based on the data they gathered from 205 Canadian manufacturing plants. Using principale components analysis, they determined that there were three important factors. Improvement activities focus on customers that work with suppliers to encourage them to use continuous improvement, process improvement, and assessment of job satisfaction, as well as developing employee involvement initiatives. Long-term purchasing emphasizes the development of a small number of key suppliers, use of internal or external certification of supplier quality improvement programs, and systematic collection of data on supplier process control and capability. Market adjustment includes activities related to cross-functional teams of suppliers for planning and sharing market and demand information and on-site personnel from supplier organizations. Although they determined that each of these three constructs was important in supplier-customer relationships, they also determined that each could benefit from improvement in the plants in their sample, particularly improvement activities.

The second article looks at the use of quality management in government. Although quality management has been used widely in manufacturing and to a lesser extent in service organizations, there are still many public-sector opportunities for the application of quality management principles. Tom Foster of Boise State University, Larry Howard of Middle Tennessee State University, and Patrick Shannon of Boise State University, investigate the use of quality management principles and tools in a city government in “The Role of Quality Tools in Improving Satisfaction with Government.” They studied 659 employees in 11 departments in a city government, including the fire department, mayor’s office, parks department, and traffic court. They collected data on contextual variables, including leadership and teamwork, enabler variables, such as quality tools knowledge and quality tools application, and outcome variables, including process improvement. In addition, they conducted focus groups in each of the 11 departments, to help validate their statistical findings. They found strong support for the model they proposed, with leadership and teamwork important contextual variables.

V. M. Rao Tummala of Eastern Michigan University, K.S. Chin of the City University of Hong Kong, and W.K. John Leung of Motorola Semiconductors HK Ltd., present the findings of their detailed study of the concept of the cost of poor quality in “An Activity-Based Costing Model to Reduce COPQ.” Although the cost of poor quality has long been an important factor in documenting the complete cost of quality, Tummala, Chin, and Leung incorporate the use of activity-based costing into the calculation of the cost of poor quality. They propose a three-phase program for using ABC costing to help highlight the parts of the process that contribute the most to the cost of poor quality, illustrating their approach with a case study involving analog integrated circuit test operations. They found that this approach is a cost-effective means for driving continuous improvement efforts in an organization, because the focus of ABC costing on the process helps employees determine where to focus their improvement efforts.

We close with an article that develops a comprehensive instrument for assessing quality management practices in an organization. It is used to compare quality management practices at different levels in the supply chain. Christopher Roethlein, Paul Mangiameli, and Maling Ebrahimpour of the University of Rhode Island, present their findings in “Quality in U. S. Manufacturing Industries: An Empirical Study.” The list of concepts studied came from their thorough review of the literature on quality management, and preliminary versions of the instrument were pilot tested at Pratt & Whitney and its tier one and tier two suppliers. They studied 634 U. S. manufacturing plants, finding that there were no differences in the implementation of quality management practices between base-level suppliers, subcomponent suppliers, component suppliers, major component suppliers, and end-product producers. The similarities in quality management between levels of the supply chain should provide for ease of communication about quality management issues between supply-chain levels.

Barbara B. Flynn

Quality Management Journal


Barbara B. Flynn
Wake Forest University

George S. Easton
Emory 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
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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