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Beware: Quality and Participation can Unwind

Summary: In spite of so many high points in the history of quality and participation, these processes have a natural tendency to unwind. An example of a hotel restaurant illustrates how sustaining improvements requires periodic audits to prevent processes from unwinding as a result of attempts to cut costs and drive efficiency. The author predicts an "explosion of interest" in employee involvement teams, with total quality control (TQC) serving as a vehicle for participative problem solving and with non-voluntary participation in quality circles increasing. Management will make the necessary changes to create a TQC environment in order to gain market share; to improve job security; to keep up with competition, customer demands, and changing technologies; to reduce the costs of nonconformance and legal liabilities; and as a matter of survival. A quality pyramid provides a pictorial representation of the steps and committees involved in delivering total quality. Additional steps that can be taken to prevent quality and participative processes from unwinding are suggested.

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  • Topics: Total Quality Management
  • Keywords: Future outlook, Total quality control (TQC), Success factors, Participative problem solving,
  • Author: Dewar, Donald L.
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation