Faculty Publications

Title

Identifying quality problems: Prospects for improvement

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Total Quality Management

Volume

7

Issue

5

First Page

535

Last Page

552

Abstract

Quality problems cannot be solved unless they have been identified and, for various reasons, problem identification (PI) is not always easy. This paper proposes an account of the PI process. The account encompasses the many different ways in which quality and other organizational problems are discovered. The paper discusses four different failure modes for PI, and uses evidence from case histories to indicate common PI difficulties and mistakes. It is argued that the nature of PI precludes the development of deep explanatory theories of PI or of strong general PI techniques. However, less formal advice - PI heuristics - can have great practical value. Fourteen heuristics, developed through an analysis of PI cases, are proposed. The paper concludes by considering how PI activity should be managed within organizations.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1996

DOI of published version

10.1080/09544129610630

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