Jan 12, 2018 in Management


Different philosophers have contributed immensely to the importance of quality as a concept. These philosophers give views that have similarities and differences with respect to the importance of quality and the factors that matter most when addressing quality issues. Of the people who have contributed to the concept of quality, Edwards W. Deming, Joseph Moses Juran and Philip Bayard Crosby are the ones that stand out significantly. The project management institute has also been important in the study and focus on the concept of quality and its importance.

Edward Deming considered quality management as an organizational-wide activity as opposed to a technical task that is meant for inspectors. For him, quality is a responsibility of the management stating that managers should establish systems and processes that help in the development of quality. He stressed that the top management has higher responsibility of ensuring quality than any other level of management. Deming came up with 14 points for management that underscores the importance of the management and the issues that the management should look into to ensure quality (Anderson, Sweeney, Williams, & Williams, 2008).

Deming’s philosophy is heavily put on the management of organizations as it gives the top management the highest responsibility in ensuring quality standards. Deming requires that top management should focus on its own goals while thee workers should also focus on their own goals. Therefore, the management’s work is to manage while the workers should produce. He observes that the problems that exist in an industry are the problems that exist in the society. Therefore, social responsibility and moral conduct are the most essential factors here. He advocates for a complete overhaul of organizational culture to ensure that change takes place. His philosophy is dependent on his dogmatism and relies on facts (Evans, 2010).

Joseph Moses Juran defines quality as fitness for use. He started his work in quality principles during the 1950s when he taught the principles of quality to the Japanese. Juran taught his principles after Deming had established his own. Juran specifically taught about a principle force in quality when organizations plan reorganization. Similar to Deming, Juran argues that poor quality leads to huge costs in terms of losses and people face a major problem because of the loss of sales to foreign competition. Juran’s definition into quality breaks down into four important categories that include the quality of design, quality of conformance, availability and field service (Evans, 2010).

Juran looks at the search of quality on two levels. First, he looks at the mission of the organization as a whole entity in the achievement of quality of products. Secondly, he looks at the mission of each individual department within an organization in the achievement of high quality production. Here Juran and Deming agree on one thing, that they both advocate for a long lasting range of activities that include product development, design, market research, and purchasing and production process control among other things that are followed by customer feedback. Therefore, a highly qualified quality management team is necessary for the successful implementation of these factors (Witzel, 2005).

Philip Crosby began his work on quality later than Juran and Deming. He defines quality as conformance to customer requirements and advocates for zero defects management that includes prevention instead of statistical levels of quality. The importance of Crosby’s work lies on what he refers to as Absolutes of Quality Management and the Basic elements of Improvement. He refutes the notion that quality is attachment to the feeling of excellence. He states that requirements must be outlined and clearly stated so that they can be well understood by all parties. He considers requirements to be communication devices that indicate that when conformance is nonexistent then quality does not exist. He also asserts that there is no quality problem because those responsible for causing them must identify problems. He states that quality comes from functional departments as opposed to the quality department. Therefore, the problems of quality originate from functional departments that must take the burden and responsibility for those problems (Sower, 2010).

Crosby also refutes the notion of economics of quality. He emphasizes that people should always do their jobs right in the first time they get those jobs. Therefore, quality is free because economics of quality has no meaning. He observes that when people fail to do their jobs right at the first time results to wastage of money (Sower, 2010).

All the philosophers and their philosophies on quality, Juran’s philosophy on quality stands out. Juran gives importance to the different parts on the organization as opposed to the whole entity. This is important because it helps in finding out the specific department where a problem arises from and gives that department a chance to correct those problems, to ensure that the desired quality is met. Therefore, there is no chance that a problem will not be noticed or solved within a certain organization. His philosophy is user friendly (Evans, 2010). Juran’s philosophy gives importance to the analysis and accounting of the costs of quality in order to give attention to the problems of quality. This makes his philosophy fit into the existing management systems because it focusses on increasing the conformance to specifications through the elimination of problems (Evans, 2010).

In addition, while Deming focuses on complete overhaul of organizational culture when effecting change, Juran’s philosophy recommends programs that are meant to fit into the organizational culture and strategic business planning that have minimal risks of rejection. This important because maintaining a company’s organizational culture ensures that it retains its identity especially with employees and customers and makes it easy for new employees and customers to identify with the organization. This is important for quality purposes.

The definition for quality according to Juran’s philosophy gives importance to the consumers of goods because the definition is based on the fitness of a product for use. This means that customer satisfaction is the goal of the philosophy. This also underscores the quality trilogy that Juran established. This philosophy is essential and stands out because quality starts by the identification of customers, whether internal or external, determining the needs of the customers and developing products with features that respond to the needs of the customers. This means that employees are a very important aspect in quality determination because they play a significant role in developing the product based on customer needs (Anderson, Sweeney, Williams, & Williams, 2008).

In conclusion, Edward Deming, Joseph Moses Juran and Philip Bayard Crosby have all helped in the understanding of quality. There philosophies have both strengths and weaknesses. However, Juran’s philosophy is the best as it considers the management, the employees, various organizational departments and customers as valuable inputs that determine quality. This philosophy is the best as it brings various dimensions together to make one concrete organization that is focused on producing quality products.

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