Quality Implications of the Greening of Energy Supply


Gladstone, Brian W.; Morris, David S.; Haigh, Robert H.   (1992, ASQC)   Sheffield Business School, Sheffield, UK S1 1WG

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9887    May 1992    pp. 669-676
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Article Abstract

Service organizations, such as energy supply companies, require different things from Total Quality Management than manufacturing organizations. The authors examine the differing implications of customer demands between U.S. and U.K. electricity suppliers.

The U.S. power industry is investor-owned, although it is regulated heavily by the government. Standards such as the one for SO2 emissions originate from the superordinate customer, the government, as early as 1970. The government is defined as the customer because demands for quality originate from it (with deeper origins in the people it represents). This system results in high quality (due to stringent regulations) and increased generator options.

The U.K. industry was run as a public sector monopoly until 1990, when it was privatized into four generating companies. It did not begin to impose quality requirement until 1986, to forestall formal action by the European community. Quality standards arrived late to British generating companies.The authors maintain that the U.S.'s superordinate customer has been more effective in communicating and enforcing its quality demands. Because the government was both supplier and superordinate customer for so long, and because the recent privatization has focused mainly on commercial considerations, British energy supply has lagged behind in addressing customer quality needs.


Case study,Energy,Environment,Government,Total Quality Management (TQM)

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