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 enabled management 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 and supporting organizational learning and provides lessons for all those interested in the issue of organizational transformation.
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(242mm x 162mm x 26mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Robert E. Cole
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.