While many quality improvement processes in business have enjoyed initial success, most have eventually failed--t producing the desired long-term results. This is because, though our learning curve is good, we still lack the sophistication requisite to generate the necessary comprehensive whole. This work attempts to help define the ingredients of such a whole. It then offers a case history which allows us to see what happens when the results of these efforts are actually put into place. Finally, it identifies the key obstructions to and long-range societal opportunities resulting from successful implementation of such wholes. According to Roth, there are five necessary phases to any comprehensive quality process: familiarization, team building, training, introduction to statistical measurement techniques, and long-range planning. In addition, truly open communication at all levels and real and continual, as opposed to verbal, top-level management support are crucial. Roth explores the five phases in detail. He then presents a blow-by-blow description of their emplacement at two major manufacturing facilities. This work should be of interest to quality process heads, human resource managers, manufacturing managers, top level executives, and scholars and students of quality improvement.
WILLIAM F. ROTH, JR. is a management consultant specializing in quality improvement. He has written extensively on the topic in national and international journals, and has advised the U.S. Congressional Task Force on High Technology and Competitiveness toward the development of a nationwide quality improvement education effort. He is the author of two previous and related books, Problem Solving for Managers (Praeger, 1985), and Work and Rewards (Praeger, 1989).