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An Analysis of Quality Management Practices - Technical Tools and Management Leadership

Summary: This article reports the results of a survey of quality management practices in the electronics industry. The objective of this article is to investigate the relationship between technical quality systems, such as statistical process control and design of experiments (DOE), and quality management leadership factors. Additional evidence is presented on industry DOE practices for a broad sample to expand and validate findings from the author's early research.The first part of this article investigates the relationship between a number of technical quality management variables and management leadership concepts. The results support the common wisdom that there is a strong relationship between management leadership and several quality management tools. For example, top management support is strongly related to worker awareness of quality and the use of structured systems and statistical tools.The second part of the article takes a detailed look at DOE, which is one specific quality management tool. The results show that DOE is relatively little used - not because of limitations of the method, but because of lack of skills and resources. Moreover, many companies may still be so early in their quality improvement cycle that methods simpler than DOE may be sufficient for their current objectives.This article makes two contributions to the research literature on quality. First, the results provide a basis for understanding the relationships among several elements of a systemic approach to quality management. Second, the article provides new insights into the use and nonuse of DOE in quality improvement at the shop floor level.

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  • Topics: Statistical Process Control (SPC), Design of Experiments
  • Keywords: Management support,Upper management,Statistical process control (SPC),Design of experiments (DOE),Electronics industry
  • Author: Sjoblom, Leif
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal