Quality Circles

By : Terri Spahr

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 decisionmaking and problem-solving improves the quality of work .

How Do Quality Circles Work? • Characteristics – – – – Volunteers Set Rules and Priorities Decisions made by Consensus Use of organized approaches to Problem-Solving .

How Do Quality Circles Work? • 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 Used in an Organization? • Increase Productivity • Improve Quality • Boost Employee Morale .

– Selected 8 Students from a large lecture class – Resulted in increased involvement from the class . a Professor of East Asia History. a Quality Circle was formed by Professor Hirshfield.Real World Example • At Penn State University in 1983.

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 Quality Circles • • • • • Inadequate Training Unsure of Purpose Not truly Voluntary Lack of Management Interest Quality Circles are not really empowered to make decisions. .

Summary of History and Practices • 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 and Practices • 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 .

1988. NJ: Prentice Hall. New York. S. Upper Saddle River. Robert E. Charles A. . Thomas. • Foster. WI: Quality Press. Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game.Bibliography • Cole. 1999. NY: Oxford Press. Managing Quality: An Integrative Approach. 2001. Milwaukee. • Aubrey. Teamwork: Involving People in Quality and Productivity Improvement.

ed.html .ac.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ ed353008. Available online via http://www. Kaizen and Quality Circles [online]. Quality Circles in the Community College [online]. Available online via http://sol.html • Author Unknown. 1984.brunel.uk/~jarvis/bola/quality/ci rcles.Bibliography • Author Unknown. 1994.

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