Most quality management programs focus on the tools that can be
employed to improve quality, but the long-term results of these
efforts have been mixed. The only way to ensure that quality
improvement will have lasting consequences for a firm is to change
the corporate culture. Having the appropriate level of technical
knowledge to address quality problems is a necessary, but not
sufficient, condition for realizing the hoped-for improvement. Only
when the entire culture of the corporation, starting with a
visionary leader and senior management, is receptive to the
adoption of new tools will any substantial progress be made.
Fairfield-Sonn, a management consultant and professor of
management, argues that success in this endeavor depends not only
on mastering the components of a quality corporate culture but on
understanding how to put those components together. He describes
not only what must be done to establish a quality culture but how
to stage a rollout of a quality program to enhance the likelihood
of the effort's long-term success. Four in-depth case
studies--Fidelity Investments, General Electric, Torrington Supply
Company, and Connecticut Renaissance--are presented for
illustration and instruction by way of example. Geared toward
executives and consultants as well as those teaching courses in
production and operations management, process management, total
quality management, and corporate culture.
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