Open Access Dissertation
Industrial engineers--United States; Industries--United States--Quality control;
This study identified and compared the level of importance and frequency of performance of 34 selected quality engineering tasks in the present and five years hence and determined potential catalysts for any expected change between the present and the future. Two sample groups of practicing certified quality engineers working for manufacturing companies in the United States were surveyed in three rounds to obtain the data. Group I consisted of 86 engineers working for companies that had been identified as leaders in product quality in a 1985 Gallup study. Group II consisted of 96 engineers from other companies.
The study attempted to answer the following research questions:
1. What are the tasks presently performed by quality engineers, how important are they, and how frequently are they performed?
2. Is there a statistically significant difference between tasks performed in leading companies and others at present?
3. Of the selected tasks, how important will they be and how frequently will they be performed, five years hence?
4. Is there a statistically significant difference between the perceptions of the tasks performed within each group between the present and the future?
5. Is there a statistically significant difference in the perception of the tasks performed between leading companies and others, five years hence?
6. Is there a statistically significant difference in the perceptions of the tasks performed by both groups combined between the present and the future?
7. What catalysts are anticipated to induce any future changes?
The findings of the first round indicate that the 34 tasks identified in the literature review were inclusive of those performed by quality engineers. The most important and frequently performed task identified in the present was Speak/Discuss Clearly. Of the purely quality related tasks, Relate Specifications to Process was ranked first for importance and Analyze Statistical Data was ranked first for frequency of performance. A chi-square analysis comparison of the two groups showed very little difference between the two groups in the present.
The findings of the second round were very similar to those of the first round relative to the ranking of the tasks. However, the ratings of individual tasks indicate that all tasks were expected to be more important and performed more frequently in the future. A chi-square comparison of the two groups indicated very little difference between the two groups in the future.
A chi-square comparison of Group I present to Group I future found that 11 (32%) of the tasks would become more important in the future, while 23 (68%) would be performed more frequently. The same comparison for Group II found 17 tasks (50%) more important in the future while 20 (59%) would be performed more frequently. A comparison of both groups combined found 27 tasks (79%) more important and 27 tasks (79%) more frequently performed in the future.
The third round identified ten potential catalysts that could induce change between the present and the future. Both groups agreed that the two catalysts An Increase in Consumer Quality Requirements and Increased Quality Offered by Competitors on the International Market were most likely to induce change.
The data gathered in this study indicate that there are only minor differences in the perception of the importance of or the frequency of the performance of the selected tasks between leading and other companies. Those minor differences may be enough to cause a change in the quality of products produced and sold to the ultimate consumer.
Year of Submission
Doctor of Industrial Technology
Department of Industrial Technology
1 PDF file (xiii, 213 pages)
©1987 Zenon Theodore Smolarek
Smolarek, Zenon Theodore, "A comparison of present and future tasks performed by quality engineers of leading and nonleading American manufacturing firms" (1987). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 878.