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The Application of Quality Tools in Achieving Quality Attributes and Strategies

Summary: Four major research questions are addressed in this study: (1) What is the overall pattern of usage of quality tools? (2) Does the pattern of quality tool deployment change depending on the type of objective (such as aesthetics, features, reliability, durability, function, and serviceability) pursued? (3) Does the pattern of quality tool deployment vary depending on the type of quality improvement strategy, (such as inspection, process control, process improvement, and design quality)? and (4) Does the pattern of quality tool deployment change depending on the type of industry? Through a comprehensive literature search and in-depth case studies of 13 firms, a set of 38 quality tools was identified. Using these tools as a basis for a survey instrument, the four research questions were investigated using a sample of 313 North American quality directors and managers who are ASQ members. The results of the study are mixed. There was support for the notion that statistically significant differences exist in the application of quality tools, which vary according to the type of quality objective pursued and the type of quality improvement strategy emphasized. Also, the application of quality tools was found to be significantly related to quality improvement, depending on the type of objective and strategy being emphasized. Finally, the results of this article lend support to the proposition that industry-level differences exist in the pattern of quality tool usage and the impact on performance.

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  • Topics: Total Quality Management
  • Keywords: Quality philosophy,Total Quality Management (TQM),Implementation
  • Author: Jayaram, Jayanth; Handfield, Robert; Ghosh, Soumen
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal