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Quality Problem Solving: Scope and Prospects

Summary: Total quality management (TQM) has come to embrace virtually all organizational activities. While the TQM movement has historically included a problem-solving component, quality problem solving (QPS) is often viewed rather narrowly as finding and fixing defects. This article proposes an expanded notion of QPS, arguing that such is needed if TQM is to achieve its full potential. Five major types of quality problems are identified and discussed, along with problem-solving methods currently used by QPS practitioners. While the techniques used by practitioners are valuable, they have limited power and operationality. Case-based QPS, a new strategy for developing strong prescriptions aimed at particular kinds of situations, is proposed and illustrated. This strategy demonstrates how research on QPS can contribute to the success of TQM.

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  • Topics: Total Quality Management, Problem Solving
  • Keywords: Total Quality Management (TQM),Problem solving
  • Author: Smith, Gerald F.
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal