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Management article
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Reference no. 93404
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1993
Length: 7 pages

Abstract

In the opinion of some journalists and business leaders, Japan''s preeminence in product quality is a direct consequence of lectures delivered 40 years ago in Tokyo by two Americans - W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran. According to Dr. Juran, this view is pure chauvinist nonsense. Despite the shoddiness of Japanese consumer goods before the war, the Japanese did have a quality tradition. It was just that the Japanese had never devoted engineering expertise, capital, or management attention to the quality of exportable consumer goods. The shock of losing the war changed their mind-set. In Japan, senior executives took personal charge of managing for quality and pursued quality change at such a revolutionary pace that by the mid-1970s, Japan had passed the United States in quality manufacturing. The unsung heroes of the Japanese quality revolution were Japanese managers, not American experts. Now Dr. Juran sees the beginnings of a quality revolution in the United States as global competition drives managers to focus on their nondelegable responsibilities in quality management.

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Abstract

In the opinion of some journalists and business leaders, Japan''s preeminence in product quality is a direct consequence of lectures delivered 40 years ago in Tokyo by two Americans - W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran. According to Dr. Juran, this view is pure chauvinist nonsense. Despite the shoddiness of Japanese consumer goods before the war, the Japanese did have a quality tradition. It was just that the Japanese had never devoted engineering expertise, capital, or management attention to the quality of exportable consumer goods. The shock of losing the war changed their mind-set. In Japan, senior executives took personal charge of managing for quality and pursued quality change at such a revolutionary pace that by the mid-1970s, Japan had passed the United States in quality manufacturing. The unsung heroes of the Japanese quality revolution were Japanese managers, not American experts. Now Dr. Juran sees the beginnings of a quality revolution in the United States as global competition drives managers to focus on their nondelegable responsibilities in quality management.

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