management had to focus willy-nilly on quality improvement, and perforce had
to involve people in quality improvement initiatives. The ‘service sector’ also had
to take a new approach of considering the service as product and had to offer value-
added quality services. The consumers and customers started getting the benefits
of quality, and the economy also got a fillip during this era of competition and
globalization. Ranks of middle class swelled with accompanying marked improve-
ment in their standard of living, but the problem of abject living conditions of the
masses in developing countries still remained a major concern.
In the new millennium the impact of Internet, e-commerce, digital technology,
emerging nano-technology, etc. is revolutionary yet quality continues to remain the
principal driver. Many new facets to quality have been added and will continue to
emerge as more and more new technologies are commercialized. Recent research and
commercialization efforts in various fields of medicine, biotechnology, space explo-
ration, and other fields augur well for mankind. Hopefully the benefits will help to
eradicate poverty and raise the standard of living of common man throughout the
world. Evolution of quality will continue.
No doubt that in this materialistic age some of the eternal quality values have
got lost, but luckily TQM philosophy has rediscovered many such values as
relevant and critical in the area of governance and business. Continued evolution
of quality in the new millennium brings new hope to humanity for emancipation
from poverty of a large number of underprivileged across the world.
QUALITY OF WHAT?
What does quality refer to, or of what is it an attribute? It is difficult to give a
comprehensive answer to this innocuous question. A few facets of quality described
below constitute the basics.
Quality in Thought and Contemplation
Seeds of quality, to begin with, are sown in our thought-pattern that breeds the
necessity and urge for quality. Quality does not occur by accident; if we do not
aspire to, we cannot achieve it. It is a value constructed by contemplation and
perspicacity, and thereafter produced with labour like clay moulded by desires. A
person’s habits of respecting others, conforming to the code of conduct, upholding
the dignity of labour are all manifestations of quality in his thought. However,
quality as a notion is very delicate and brittle and the slightest distortion in the
thought-pattern can mar it.
Quality of Interpersonal Relationships
A healthy and productive human relation between all those involved is critical for
quality. Tense family relationships and strained relations with employees have a
demoralizing effect on the quality of life and can affect the quality of a person’s
PERSPECTIVE OF TOTAL QUALITY 7

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