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Dead or Alive
  • Service, Manufacturing, Government

Dead or Alive

Quality Progress
July 2016
Volume 49 Issue 7
pp. 36-40
Sower, Victor E., Green, Kenneth W., Zelbst, Pamela J.,
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, AR


The total quality concept developed from Walter Shewhart's approach to quality in the 1920s, enterprise efforts after World War II, developments in Japan as described by W. Edwards Deming and codified by Armand V. Feigenbaum in the 1950s, and the U.S. response to Japanese competition in the 1970s. Yet some view Total Quality Management (TQM) as outdated and its perceived value diminished. TQM approaches have multiplied to include Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, ISO 9001 and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. No single model is suitable for all cases, and TQM is an underlying element of each. The authors' research of quality practices in U.S. manufacturing operations shows key dimensions of TQM to be current and relevant. Customer focus remains a strong, while emphasis on product design and statistical process control is greater than ever. TQM has strong though indirect effects on organizational performance, with improved logistics and marketing contributing to customer satisfaction.

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