ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - June 2002


Issue Highlight — When the Business of Business is School
In April 2002, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Education decided to privatize a group of public schools in the city of Philadelphia. This is simply a recent example of the movement to transfer the work of the public sector into the world of profit. This memo from a 12-year-old student might be a sign of things to come.

What’s Up?

European Literati Club Lauds Harrington for Lifetime Contributions

Dr. H. James Harrington, former board member of AQP and former president of the American Society for Quality, was honored on April 11 in London by the European Literati Club with the presentation of a lifetime achievement award at the club’s annual Literati Award for Excellence ceremony. The award was given in recognition and honor of Harrington’s literature contributions to the advancement of quality and organizational performance.

Harrington’s award was based upon his many technical papers, monthly column in Quality Digest, publications in European journals, articles and columns in AQP publications, CD-ROMs he has produced, and numerous books he has authored.

Harrington retired as COO from Systemcorp in January 2002 and now is the chief executive officer of the newly formed Harrington Institute ( with offices in San Jose, California; Orlando, Florida; and Ottawa, Canada.

Good Guys Are Prospering: “100 Best Corporate Citizens” Outperform S&P 500 Peers

Socially responsible behavior pays off on the bottom line. That’s the conclusion of research based on Business Ethics’ 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, which shows the financial performance of these companies was “significantly better” than others in the S&P 500, according to researchers at De Paul University in Chicago. That’s good news for the companies on this year’s list, released (April 22, 2002) by Business Ethics magazine.

The ranking is based on quantitative measures of corporate service to seven stakeholder groups:

  • stockholders,
  • employees,
  • customers,
  • the community,
  • the environment,
  • overseas stakeholders, and
  • women and minorities.

The top five companies for 2002, in rank order, are:

1. IBM,
2. Hewlett-Packard,
3. Fannie Mae,
4. St. Paul Companies, and
5. Procter & Gamble.

Twenty-six firms made their first appearance on the list this year. Newcomers include: Bank of America (15), Lucent Technologies (17), and Federal Express (22). For the complete list see .

The cutting-edge practices of these firms offer model business strategies in areas ranging from layoffs and sweatshops to predatory lending and the environment. These firms show there are better ways to handle these issues than the ruthless practices that are too often the norm.

  • Fannie Mae (3) with its $2 trillion program, the American Dream Commitment, aims to increase home ownership rates for minorities, new immigrants, young families, and those in low-income communities. In 2001, more than 51 percent of Fannie Mae’s financing went to low- and moderate-income households. “It is our goal to keep expanding our reach to impaired borrowers and to help lower their costs,” said Barry Zigas, senior vice president in Fannie Mae’s National Community Lending Center.
  • Avon (10) ensures employees at its suppliers have the best working conditions possible. All Avon factories and suppliers—both domestically and abroad—must pass an audit based on Social Accountability 8000 standards covering issues like employee safety, wages, and the right to join unions.

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens story appeared in the March/April issue of Business Ethics, which for 15 years has been the premier publication for the movement to bring greater social responsibility into business. Free sample issues and subscriptions can be obtained by calling 612-879-0695. For more information, plus full list and story, see .

(Statistical analysis for the list was done by Sandra Waddock and Samuel Graves of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Social ratings were provided by KLD Research & Analytics of Boston, a research firm serving socially responsible investors.)

Benchmarking and Performance Improvement Resource

The Benchmarking and Performance Improvement Resource Web site at was developed by the Centre for Organizational Excellence Research (COER), Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University in New Zealand. The site’s uniqueness stems from how all the information within the site can be viewed through a choice of business excellence models (Baldrige, European Business Excellence Model, APQC Classification Framework, etc.) and its extensive collection of performance measures, benchmark data, improvement tools, and best practice case studies covering all aspects of organizational improvement. Membership includes full access to over 600 business periodicals.

Partners in developing the resource include Industry Week, Cranfield’s Centre for Business Performance, Global Benchmarking Network, Emerald Library, Proquest, and many more that have enabled COER to provide leading-edge information and articles from around the globe.

For more information contact Dr. Robin Mann, director, Centre for Organizational Excellence Research, Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University via e-mail at .

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June 2002 News for a Change Homepage

 In This Issue...
High Impact Consulting— Getting Real Results

The Courage to Face Your Fears

The Secret to Profitable Customer Relations

The Art of Communication

Got an Attitude?

Peter Block Column


What’s Up?


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