The foundations of quality management have been laid throughout the history of civilization. Since the dawn of industrialization, as a consequence of an increasing division of labor, the approach has evolved dramatically in terms of analytical tools and organizational practices. This evolution is outlined in this chapter. Starting from an overview of the different possible meanings of quality, the phases characterizing modern quality management (e.g., quality control, quality assurance, etc.) are described. Geopolitical and macroeconomic considerations are factored in to account for an uneven development across countries (e.g., Japan vs US). A general trajectory is traced as the scope of quality has constantly broadened to encompass not only the product, but also interorganizational processes and the impact on the environment and the society of the company activities. Against this backdrop, the current phase is seen as a polarization between a “classic” engineering approach and a more holistic view, questioning the same boundaries of the discipline.
Culot, G. (2019), "History of Quality", Sartor, M. and Orzes, G. (Ed.) Quality Management: Tools, Methods, and Standards, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-801-720191001Download as .RIS
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