ERIC Number: ED229818
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
E-Quality in the Workplace: Quality Circles or Quality of Working Life Programs in the US.
Savage, Grant T.; Romano, Richard
Quality Circle (QC) and Quality of Working Life (QWL) in the United States are similar in that both stress participative decision making, preserve management's prerogative to have the final say, and are voluntary. QC and QWL programs differ, however, in that labor unions are more involved in QWLs; QCs deal only with technical problems related to work while QWLs discuss the entire work environment; and QWLs incorporate representatives from all levels of the organization while QCs limit the circle to employees on the same level. An examination of QCs and labor relations in Japan reveals that labor relations there tend to be both more cooperative and more antagonistic than those in the West because of the presence of enterprise unions, labor-management collusion, traditional dispute settlement, and modern dispute settlement. In Japan, the QCs play an important role in furthering employee interest by offering an alternative to identifying solely with company or union interests and by providing the training needed for advancement. Unlike the QCs in Japan, those in the United States do not consider the needs of the employee participant, stressing instead technical problems. This fact explains why QCs in the United States are initially successful but ultimately fail. For these reasons, QWL programs may be better suited for the United States. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Japan; Quality Circles; Quality of Working Life
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Ocean City, MD, April 27-30, 1983).