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Quality Management Is Ongoing Social Innovation

Quality management, the traditional one and more so the modern Total Quality Management like the EFQM Excellence model, are exclusively social innovation thoroughly based in the social sciences. In a more or less consistent way these systems have become a normal function in many organisations across all economic and social sectors. Nowadays, stakeholder and customer orientation are current concepts of any purposeful organisational activity in whatever social area. What started centuries ago in crafts and trades with qualificational access barriers (guilds) as regulation mechanisms of quality performance and what found its first comprehensive expression for large industrial organisations in Taylor’s Scientific Management, has become quality management since the US industry of arms and weapons needed it to fight the German nazi regime in the fourties of last century. Since then quality management has evolved from a bureaucratic control mechanism (control in the meaning of checking on products and people) of the large industry to a ubiquitous systemic management concept based on objectives, strategies, processes and evidence-based measurement of results. Its systematic beginnings have to be traced back to the fifties of last century and are linked to names like Deming, Juran und Crosby who first were successful in Japan. Japan’s industrial and political classes were eagerly looking at how to accelerate their catch up race with Western capitalism, and quality management obviously was a highly successful orientation with serious consequences for the American as well as for the European industries up to the late eighties. Today, as a logical consequence of quality being a universal principle of potentials, processes, products and impacts, the focus is changing from the management of quality to the quality of management of organisations. Organisational quality is a holistic concept that has trickled and trenched all modern management concepts. The complete kit of methods and tools used in quality management of whatever scope has its origins in the social sciences, from Statistical Process Control (SPC) via Business Process Reengineering to the methods of organisation development and continuous improvement process (CIP), from inquiry and survey techniques to the complete set of evaluation methods. Several scientifically solid studies have shown that companies with a total quality orientation are economically more successful and organisationally more effective, efficient and reflective than other enterprises. It is in this sense that value-oriented, sustainable and economically successful management of organisations cannot be conceived of anymore but by recurring to systemic concepts of quality management.

Bibliographische Angaben:
Franz, Hans-Werner:
Quality Management Is Ongoing Social Innovation;
In: Müller, Karel; Roth, Steffen; Zak, Milan (eds.): Social Dimension of Innovation, Prag; S. 115-130;
2010