Any discussion of quality starts off by facing an immediate problem – the difficulty of defining exactly what we mean by the term. Two quotations from the quality management literature will make this clear:
One of the main difficulties evident in the field of quality management is the variety of terms employed. Many are ill-defined and are used both interchangeably and inconsistently.
(Bell, McBride and Wilson, Managing Quality, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1994)
‘Is this a quality watch?’ Pointing to my wrist I ask a class of students – undergraduates, postgraduates, experienced managers – it matters not. The answers vary:
‘No, it's made in Japan’.
‘No, it's cheap’.
‘No, the face is scratched’.
‘How reliable is it?’
‘I wouldn't ...