Quality Systems and Environmental Management

By Wenmouth, Bryan A. | Journal of Environmental Health, November 1994 | Go to article overview

Quality Systems and Environmental Management


Wenmouth, Bryan A., Journal of Environmental Health


Introduction

The Principles of Modern Quality Management

I will begin by identifying the main themes behind modern quality management. The topic itself is very large, and a huge array of techniques and methods have been developed that support these basic ideas. In this short overview, I will of necessity be able to provide only a very superficial overview, but it will hopefully help you extract some common themes that you might find useful in your own discipline.

Quality is an Ethic

The decision to offer quality goods or services is in essence a value-based decision. At its heart is a decision to provide the customer with what he/she perceives as suitable to his/her needs rather than what we think they should purchase. It is an ethic that values the customer and places the satisfaction of his/her needs above our own opinions and preferences. There is an obvious parallel here with the public health and environmental management which are at heart based on ethical decisions about public good.

Quality as a Strategic Plank

To succeed with quality is to make it a central plank in our strategy for enterprise success. Quality cannot be fully effective if it is regarded as a bolt-on extra, a necessary but costly overhead, or some extra burden we have to carry to meet customer or regulatory demands. The really successful quality programs are those that are integrated into the enterprise's strategic planning. Quality organizations see quality and consequential customer satisfaction as essential strategies for generating and maintaining income, profits, and growth.

Again for health, safety, and environmental management programs to be successful, they must be built into the organization's core strategies.

Quality is: Customer Focused-customer Defined

Quality defined by the producer organization is nonsense. Quality is about how well goods and services meet customer expectations. Therefore, quality is defined by customers. A high quality product or service is one that satisfies customer needs. A poor quality product or service is one that does not meet customer's needs and expectations. As the customer's needs and expectations can only be defined by the customer, then quality is also defined by the customer. A high quality product need not be a high priced one, but it will give better value for money than competing products.

The customers of public safety and environmental management programs are, of course, not particular individuals but society at large. However, the principle that the customer's expectations shape the organization's approach to public safety and environmental management is at the center of most organization's approaches to safety and environmental issues. As society has become more aware and demanding of the need for public safety and environmental safeguards, organizations have responded by becoming more responsible.

Quality Requires Leadership from the Top

For any activity within an organization to flourish, it must be seen to have both approval and positive leadership from senior management. Employees know what top management really believe in and what they only pay lip service to. They adjust their own behavior accordingly. To do otherwise is to jeopardize their career prospects. Hence, organizations with successful and sustainable quality management are also organizations with strong leadership commitment to quality from the very top.

Like quality, an organization's public safety and environmental management program is most effective when employees see strong leadership and encouragement from senior management.

Quality is a Journey not a Destination

Most enterprises exist in a competitive environment where their performance can always be compared with that of their competitors. As an organization's competitors improve, the organization's performance appears by comparison to deteriorate even if in an absolute sense it has not changed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Quality Systems and Environmental Management
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.