ERIC Number: ED314673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Using Social Psychology To Make Quality Circles More Effective.
Smither, Robert D.
Quality circles have proliferated in organizations throughout the 1980s, but their success depends on careful planning and monitoring, and on an awareness of social psychology and group dynamics. This presentation accordingly evaluates some of the assumptions of the literature on quality circles and suggests ways in which social psychology research can make quality circles a more viable team performance strategy. While voluntary, democratically controlled, participatory quality circles work well in Japan, with its traditions of lifetime employment and group loyalty, they are less successful among Americans, who are more oriented toward their personal career goals, and who are motivated more by a sense of individual responsibility. For this population, participation in quality circles is therefore likely to be more successful if it is either mandatory or a path toward individual advancement, with a clear agenda set by facilitative leaders who are higher in the organization, in which the focus is on measurable accomplishments and workers are empowered to act on their own suggestions. (Twenty-five references are included.) (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (97th, New Orleans, LA, August 11-15, 1989).