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Organizing for Quality - Including a Study of Corporate-Level Quality Management in Large U.K.-Owned Companies

Summary: The way a company organizes for quality depends both on the complexity of the company and whether its quality philosophy is one of quality assurance (QA) or quality improvement (QI). For a small business with a QA philosophy, it is probably best to have a strong QA department that performs all inspection and test. If a small business has a QI philosophy, it is best for inspection and test to be performed by the manufacturing department. The quality department should be mainly responsible for obtaining, analyzing, and publishing quality data. There should also be a multifunctional QI board, chaired by a senior department head, but not the quality manager.

Multidivisional companies with a QA philosophy are discussed only briefly because most corporate quality programs follow a QI philosophy. For the latter, a successful approach must have at least a 10-year time scale. Alternatives are to have a corporate QI board chaired by the chief executive or other senior executive as his or her delegate, or a company quality manager leading a small corporate quality department, or both. It is helpful to have staff quality positions in company subsidiaries and to use quality councils to ensure that the quality managers at all levels apply a consistent company quality philosophy.

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  • Topics: Quality Assurance, Quality Management, Quality Control
  • Keywords: Quality improvement (QI),Quality assurance (QA),Quality management (QM),Organizational culture,Quality Control Department
  • Author: Groocock, John M.
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal