Using Line Management to Lead Quality Fundamentals


Burleson, Alan L.; Pridgen, A. Wade   (1988, ASQC)   Organizational Dynamics, Inc., Burlington, MA; Carolina Power & Light Co., Raleigh, NC

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3479    May 1988    pp. 564-568
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Article Abstract

Many companies in the United States are implementing programs to help all employees understand the importance of quality. Carolina Power & Light Co. And Organizational Dynamics, Inc., developed a quality awareness workshop in which line management, rather than training department personnel, deliver the workshop.

The workshop, called "Total Quality Fundamentals," was designed for managers and supervisors to deliver to all 9300 employees in the company. One of the central reasons for using this approach was to reinforce the accountability for quality and employee development in the line functions of the company rather than in a staff department. In this way, the line managers were charged with making quality a part of the fabric of daily life in the company. Another reason for using managers and supervisors was to encourage them to assume more responsibility for developing and educating their staff. This would preclude the need to create a large staff department to make quality happen.

There were several issues with the development of such a workshop. The major issue was with the workshop design. Because managers and supervisors were to deliver the workshop, the format had to be such that people who do not normally present training programs could deliver it easily. Ease of delivery was needed to overcome potential resistance by managers and supervisors to the responsibility of delivering a training program. In addition, the workshop had to be flexible enough to allow for the wide variety of delivery configurations needed to deliver the program throughout CP&L.

The program is a six module workshop, with each module being from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours long. The modules are designed to be taught in sequence, although they can be taught together in a two day session or spread apart with day or week intervals between the modules. In between each module is a reading assignment that prepares the participants for the upcoming material. That way the leader does not have to assume responsibility for teaching the material. Instead, management's role is to lead discussions and activities that reinforce the material.

The program is currently being delivered throughout the organization. The presentation will focus not only on the strengths and issues of such an approach, but also the results the workshop has achieved.



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