The Quality-Ethics Connection

Article

Steeples, Marion M.   (1994, ASQC)   Resources for Quality, Denver, CO

Quality Progress    Vol. 27    No. 6
QICID: 12866    June 1994    pp. 73-75
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Article Abstract

The apparent breakdown of ethics in America and its institutions is caused more by poorly structured systems than by immoral behavior of individuals. An extended example shows how structural problems in city government led to the Chicago flood of 1992. Individual Chicagoans acted ethically in trying to prevent the flood, but they were thwarted by a system with no clear lines of responsibility and accountability. In any organization, the way to fix structural deficiencies is to adopt a model of total quality management (TQM). By establishing direction, vision, and purpose, TQM helps to link quality and ethics. The TQM emphasis on the customer allows an organization to produce what is of value to the customer. However, TQM and quality concepts are not substitutes for ethics. Quality cannot exist without ethics.

Keywords

Total Quality Management (TQM),Quality system,Local government,Ethics


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