Product Quality and Quality Work Life

Article

Ashley, Barbara; France, Annalisa; Prather, Mark   (1987, ASQC)   Jefferson Community College, Louisville, KY

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3329    May 1987    pp. 424-429
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Article Abstract

In recent years, quality circles, statistical process control (SPC) and employee training and involvement programs have become popular means to achieving higher levels of production quality in U.S. industry. Each of these three appraoches to quality can be useful, but success is not guaranteed. Quality circles can devolve into empty exchanges when they lack focus. SPC has limited application when it is compreheneded and employed by a minority of workers. And employee training can have deleterious effects when it is perceived as irrelevant. The proper integration and implementation of the three techniques reduce the risk of failure. This contention is not new, and the combined use of the three techniques has been recommended by others. However, very little systematic analysis has accompanied such recommendations. In this paper, we draw on organizational benefits that can accure from SPC programs. The ability of SPC to improve product quality and productivity have been discussed at length previously. However, SPC programs can also improve organizational integration and the quality of work life. To derive these latter benefits from SPC, adequate understanding of, and support for, team work and employee training must be provided. Together, statistical techniques, team activities and training for quality improvement can lend structure and focus to team activities; foster a sense of personal and collective achievement; open new communication networks; and reduce worker dissatisfaction.

Keywords

Human resources (HR),Quality management (QM)


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