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Managing Operations by Alan Hart, Bob Johnson

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5Managing quality

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 ...

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