Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game

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9780195122602: Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game
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Can managers learn from fads? That is the question Robert Cole addresses in this insightful book about the various factors supporting and inhibiting organizational learning.

A longtime student of the Japanese and American quality movements, Cole focuses on the response of American industry to the challenge posed in the early 1980s by high quality goods from Japan. While most American managers view this challenge as slowly but successfully met, many academics see the quality movement that emerged from it as just another fad. In seeking to reconcile these two views, Cole explores the reasons behind American industry's slow response to Japanese quality, arguing that a variety of institutional factors inhibited management action in the early 1980s. He then describes the reshaping of institutions that allowed American companies to close the quality gap and to achieve sustained quality improvements in the 1990s.

Hewlett-Packard serves as an example of a company that made this institutional transition more effectively than most. Cole describes Hewlett-Packard's successful strategies while also pointing out the serious problems that it and other companies face as they attempt to adapt, improve, and go beyond Japanese practices. He also uses Hewlett-Packard, an exemplar of the highly decentralized company, to explore effective strategies for the creation, dissemination, and implementation of knowledge.

Unprecedented as a scholarly treatment of the quality movement,Managing Quality Fads provides several important lessons for those interested in management decision making under conditions of uncertainty and organizational transformation in a rapidly changing business environment.

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About the Author:


An author who has been writing about Japanese and American quality movements for over twenty years, Robert E. Cole began studying Japanese practices in the mid-1970s and then looked at how these practices were--or were not--adopted by U.S. firms in the 1980s. As a consultant to Fortune 500 companies he has witnessed first-hand the progress of corporate efforts to respond to the Japanese challenge. In 1993 he was inducted into the International Academy of Quality, whose membership is limited to 20 North American experts and 60 members worldwide. He is the editor of The Death and Life of the American Quality Movement (Oxford University Press, 1995). He is Professor of Business Administration and Sociology, and Laura Tyson Mitchell II Professor of Leadership and Communication, in the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

Review:


"Recommended for graduate, faculty, and professional collections."--Choice


"Cole's treatment of the quality movement contains lessons for managers as they deal with current and future organizational challenges inherent in learning and change."--CalBusiness


"Cole's treatise is historically substantive and places quality within a broader conceptual framework. [. . .] Well written, objective, and extensively documented, Managing Quality Fads will be of considerable interest to students of business process improvement and enterprise-wide organizational change, as well as to corporate strategists who want to apply the lessons learned by manufacturing firms in the 1980s and early 1990s to today's highly competitive E-commerce business environment."--Academy of Management Executive


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. US managers tend to look at the quality challenge posed by Japanese industry in the early 1980s as a challenge slowly yet successfully met. Academics see the emergent quality movement as just another fad. This book is about reconciling these images. Can managers learn from fads? Robert Cole explores the reasons behind American industry's slow response to the challenge of high quality Japanese goods, then proceeds to explain the factors which eventually enabledmanagement to address the quality gap effectively. He argues that a variety of institutional factors slowed management's response in the US, and describes the reshaping of institutional forces that lead to sustained quality improvements in the 1990s. Ultimately, this book is about factors inhibiting andsupporting organizational learning and provides lessons for all those interested in the issue of organizational transformation. Seller Inventory # APC9780195122602

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. US managers tend to look at the quality challenge posed by Japanese industry in the early 1980s as a challenge slowly yet successfully met. Academics see the emergent quality movement as just another fad. This book is about reconciling these images. Can managers learn from fads? Robert Cole explores the reasons behind American industry's slow response to the challenge of high quality Japanese goods, then proceeds to explain the factors which eventually enabledmanagement to address the quality gap effectively. He argues that a variety of institutional factors slowed management's response in the US, and describes the reshaping of institutional forces that lead to sustained quality improvements in the 1990s. Ultimately, this book is about factors inhibiting andsupporting organizational learning and provides lessons for all those interested in the issue of organizational transformation. Seller Inventory # APC9780195122602

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