Although it is often posited that quality circles are an instrument for improving both efficiency and quality of working life, little systematic research has been done. In 1985 therefore, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment initiated a research study. Describes the results of this study in seven Dutch organizations about the effect of quality circles on the quality of working life. First presents an analytic model in which the main assumption is that the structure of the production process can be considered as an important contingency for the success of quality circles. Next, examines seven cases of Dutch quality‐circle programmes. These programmes are analysed using the above mentioned framework. One of the main overall conclusions is that whether quality circles are a means to improve the quality of working life or not is, among other factors, determined largely by the characteristics of the production structure. Therefore, more attention should be focused on the given production structure of organizations whenever quality circles are initiated.
de Vries, J. and van de Water, H. (1992), "Quality Circles, the Production Function and Quality of Working Life: Results of a Study in Seven Large Companies", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 9 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656719210010703
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