Overview What are Quality Circles? How Do Quality Circles Work? How Can They be Used in an Organization? Example and Activity Problems with Quality Circles Summary of History and Practices Bibliography
What is a Quality Circle?• Voluntary groups of employees who work on similar tasks or share an area of responsibility• They agree to meet on a regular basis to discuss & solve problems related to work.• They operate on the principle that employee participation in decision- making and problem-solving improves the quality of work
How Do Quality CirclesWork?• Characteristics – Volunteers – Set Rules and Priorities – Decisions made by Consensus – Use of organized approaches to Problem-Solving
How Do Quality CirclesWork?• All members of a Circle need to receive training• Members need to be empowered• Members need to have the support of Senior Management
How Can They be Usedin an Organization?• Increase Productivity• Improve Quality• Boost Employee Morale
Real World Example• At Penn State University in 1983, a Quality Circle was formed by Professor Hirshfield, a Professor of East Asia History. – Selected 8 Students from a large lecture class – Resulted in increased involvement from the class
Team Exercise• Break down into teams of 6-8 people• Establish a leader and rules for your Circle• Have a brainstorming and problem-solving session to resolve the issue on the next slide
Team Exercise• A Collegiate class on Statistical Analysis has a total enrollment of 45 people.• Average attendance is 18 students• The class consists mainly of lectures• How can the professor of this class improve the quality of this course and increase student involvement?
Problems with QualityCircles• Inadequate Training• Unsure of Purpose• Not truly Voluntary• Lack of Management Interest• Quality Circles are not really empowered to make decisions.
Summary of History andPractices• Quality Circles were first seen in the United States in the 1950’s• Circles were developed by Dr, Kaoru Ishikawa in Japan in the 1960’s• Circles were re-exported to the US in the early 1970’s
Summary of History andPractices• 1980’s brought Total Quality Management and a reduction in the use of Quality Circles• Quality Circles can be a useful tool if used properly
Bibliography• Cole, Robert E. 1999. Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game. New York, NY: Oxford Press.• Aubrey, Charles A. 1988. Teamwork: Involving People in Quality and Productivity Improvement. Milwaukee, WI: Quality Press.• Foster, S. Thomas. 2001. Managing Quality: An Integrative Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bibliography• Author Unknown. 1984. Quality Circles in the Community College [online]. Available online via http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed3• Author Unknown. 1994. Kaizen and Quality Circles [online]. Available online via http://sol.brunel.ac.uk/~jarvis/bola/quality/circle http://sol.brunel.ac.uk/~jarvis/bola/quality/circl