ERIC Number: ED341930
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Attributions of Quality Circles' Failure: Perceptions among Top-Management, Supporting Staff, and Quality Circle Members.
Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Butler, Edie Aguilar
Quality circles, a management practice that involves groups of workers from the same work area voluntarily meeting on a regular basis to identify, analyze, and solve various work-related problems, have been used in Japan for over 40 years. In the United States, quality circles have been tried in many organizations during the past 2 decades and more than 60 to 75 percent of the quality circle programs in the U.S. have failed. In this study, employees' perceptions of quality circle failure were investigated. A cross-section of 100 employees of an aerostructures fabrication and assembly plant completed a survey questionnaire concerning the failure of quality circles. Respondents included blue-collar workers who were quality circle members, middle-level supporting staff and supervisors, and top-management personnel. Survey results revealed seven major factors. The most important factor thought by respondents to contribute to quality circle failure was lack of top-management support, followed by lack of quality circle members' commitment, lack of problem-solving skills, quality circle members' turnover, the nature of the task, lack of support from staff members, and lack of data and time, in that order. Furthermore, top-management personnel attributed quality circle failure significantly less to the lack of top-management support than did middle-level supporting staff and quality circle members. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (38th, Knoxville, TN, March 25-28, 1992).