A Comparison of Japanese Total Quality Control and Deming's Theory of Management

Article excerpt


W. E. Deming, J. Juran, and others went to Japan after World War II and taught the Japanese much about quality, statistics, and management. Deming taught the Japanese the Shewhart cycle, the concept of special and common causes of variation, the realization that statistics could be used on the shop floor, and an appreciation of a system. Juran taught the Japanese management principles and practices, such as the Pareto principle. From these teachings, and more, the Japanese developed their own schools of thought on quality.


There are several schools of thought on quality management in the United States, for example, those of Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum. This article focuses on Deming's theory of quality management. Likewise, there are several schools of thought on quality management in Japan. In the author's opinion, the dominant school of thought in Japan is espoused by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). The JUSE awards the prestigious Deming Prizes each year. Some leaders of the JUSE school of thought include K. Ishikawa (deceased), S. Mizuno (deceased), and T. Asaka. In this article, the JUSE school of thought is called Japanese Total Quality Control (TQC). It is this author's contention that Japanese TQC is different from Deming's theory of management.


3.1 Definition of Quality

Japanese TQC defines quality in accordance to Japanese national standard JISZ8101-1981 as the following:

a system of means to economically produce goods or services

which satisfy customers' requirements. Implementing quality

control effectively necessitates the cooperation of all people in the

company, involving top management, managers, supervisors, and

workers in all areas of corporate activities such as market research,

research and development, product planning, design, preparation

for production, purchasing, vendor management, manufacturing,

inspection, sales and after-service, as well as financial control,

personnel administration, and training and education. Quality

control carried out in this manner is called company-wide quality

control or total quality control.

3.2 Purpose

Kano (1993) stated that the purpose of Japanese TQC is to increase "customer satisfaction/quality assurance" (p. 13).

3.3 Structure

Kano (1993, pp. 13-14) described the structure of Japanese TQC through an analogy to the structure of a building (see Fig. 1).


3.3.1 Intrinsic Technology. Kano explained that Japanese TQC assumes the existence of intrinsic technology. Intrinsic technology is the basic theory and practice base specific to a particular industry. "For example, electrical engineering is the technology intrinsic to the electric industry; chemical engineering is intrinsic to the chemical industry. Intrinsic technology provides the necessary foundation upon which TQM is built" (Kano 1993, p. 13).

3.3.2 Motivational Approach. Given the existence of intrinsic technology in an industry, top management must create the energy necessary to promote quality. Kano (1993, pp. 14-15) suggested that top management can create this energy by communicating real or potential crises that face their organization to their interdependent system of stakeholders or by committing themselves to a vision for their organization. Either way, top management creates a stimulus to motivate the people under them to exert the energy necessary to create quality.

3.3.3 Tools. Customer satisfaction and quality assurance are promoted through the tools of Japanese TQC. The tools of Japanese TQC form an interdependent system of concepts, techniques, and promotional vehicles.

Kano (1988), Iizuka and Osada (1988, p. …