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Si jeunesse savait; si vieillesse pouvait – Six Sigma practitioners need not lament

Si jeunesse savait; si vieillesse pouvait – Six Sigma practitioners need not lament Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss areas where there could be gaps between traditional quality management concepts and the reality, and point out the modern‐day paradigm shifts as thoughts and ideals of the past gradually give way to realistic assessments and concrete tools of the present. Design/methodology/approach – The past practice of “Quality by will power” or “Quality by change in mindset” is contrasted with the down‐to‐earth approach typified in the Six Sigma framework. It is explained that excellence cannot be achieved simply because there is a management desire to see it happen. Findings – Some customers have been disillusioned by slogans and public‐relations pronouncements; in fact, even some quality managers seem not to be aware of the conceptual pitfalls they have set from themselves. Fundamentally, only realistic tools based on statistical thinking can bring about real and sustainable quality improvement. Practical implications – It is maintained that quality improvement efforts, especially in the service sectors, would become a delusion if the age‐old concept of “bottom up” or behavioral transformation becomes the mainstay of quality management. The sense of inadequacy as reflected by the title of this paper could not be resolved unless a fresh look is taken at what is really effective, as detailed in the paper. Originality/value – It used to be politically correct to insist that quality is everybody's responsibility, and that improvements must take place in every sphere – “company‐wide continuous improvement”, as if the realm of Quality is a democracy and improvements are meant to take place simultaneously everywhere. This paper highlights the background of the hierarchical nature of quality improvement personnel and the value of prioritization efforts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

Si jeunesse savait; si vieillesse pouvait – Six Sigma practitioners need not lament

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References (14)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/17566691111115054
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss areas where there could be gaps between traditional quality management concepts and the reality, and point out the modern‐day paradigm shifts as thoughts and ideals of the past gradually give way to realistic assessments and concrete tools of the present. Design/methodology/approach – The past practice of “Quality by will power” or “Quality by change in mindset” is contrasted with the down‐to‐earth approach typified in the Six Sigma framework. It is explained that excellence cannot be achieved simply because there is a management desire to see it happen. Findings – Some customers have been disillusioned by slogans and public‐relations pronouncements; in fact, even some quality managers seem not to be aware of the conceptual pitfalls they have set from themselves. Fundamentally, only realistic tools based on statistical thinking can bring about real and sustainable quality improvement. Practical implications – It is maintained that quality improvement efforts, especially in the service sectors, would become a delusion if the age‐old concept of “bottom up” or behavioral transformation becomes the mainstay of quality management. The sense of inadequacy as reflected by the title of this paper could not be resolved unless a fresh look is taken at what is really effective, as detailed in the paper. Originality/value – It used to be politically correct to insist that quality is everybody's responsibility, and that improvements must take place in every sphere – “company‐wide continuous improvement”, as if the realm of Quality is a democracy and improvements are meant to take place simultaneously everywhere. This paper highlights the background of the hierarchical nature of quality improvement personnel and the value of prioritization efforts.

Journal

International Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 22, 2011

Keywords: Quality management; Business excellence; Quality improvement; Six Sigma

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