Chapter 26. Managing Quality: New Challenges

J. D. van Iwaarden, A. van der Wiele, B. G. Dale and A. R. T. Williams


This chapter puts forward the argument that there are two kinds of quality management – 'old' or classical quality management and 'new' quality management. The aim of classical quality management was to analyse errors and eliminate their causes and the associated variation by improved product and process design. In recent times a number of major changes have taken place, resulting in increased volatility in key areas of business which 'old' quality management has difficulty in addressing. These changes are being driven by developments in production operations, competitive pressure, the need for improved results from the financial market and shrinkage of buying points. This has lead to pressure on prices, performance and innovation and the need for increased flexibility, agility and economics of scale, with a concentration on core competencies within the business. This situation demands a 'new' form of quality management.


The management and improvement of quality in the Western world have gone through a number of key learning points. They are, in approximate chronological order:

  • Detection and elimination of defects by traditional quality control and engineering methods.

  • Specification and use of quality management systems.

  • The impact of Japanese competition on businesses, in particular the automotive and electronics sector. This resulted in accelerated ...

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