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Assert that capability indices quantify process improvement in a simple way and, when used correctly, provide relevant benchmarks. Considers it important that managers fully understand the power and limitations of this quality tool. Asserts the process is on target when Cp and Cpk are equal. Contends that the observed differences are due to sampling error and that any capability index is simply an estimate of an unknown value. Concludes that the measurement of process capability and the assessment on internal and external suppliers performance using indices, is now widespread. Despite any problems, process capability indices are preferable to many other measures of process or supplier performance.
The costs, benefits and implications of BS5750/ISO9000 certification for small and medium‐sized firms are investigated on the basis of a review of published literature and…
The costs, benefits and implications of BS5750/ISO9000 certification for small and medium‐sized firms are investigated on the basis of a review of published literature and a survey of the actual experience of a representative sample of firms. The principle motivation for installing BS5750‐based quality systems appears to be customer pressure; retaining existing customers is a key benefit. A minority of firms discover that “internal” benefits, such as greater control and discipline, turn out to be more valuable. Developing and installing a BS5750‐based system is a major exercise for small firms but through reductions in quality costs, the costs of certification can typically be recovered within three years of commencing to operate the system. The attitude of the chief executive is a key determinant of effectiveness.
Reviews the level of awareness and use of total quality management(TQM) in the UK retail sector. Surveys top management in retailing forviews on TQM and reviews the…
Reviews the level of awareness and use of total quality management (TQM) in the UK retail sector. Surveys top management in retailing for views on TQM and reviews the results to establish knowledgeability of quality issues and the degree of receptiveness to TQM. Seeks views on process improvement and priority business areas, to establish the extent of compatibility between retailer goals and the TQM approach. Considers the potential use of TQM as a means of driving quality improvement in the light of theory, experience and the survey.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate usability testing methods currently in use outside of library science, primarily in the business world, and to find important…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate usability testing methods currently in use outside of library science, primarily in the business world, and to find important techniques that can be applied to library science to improve usability testing in libraries.
Objectives are achieved through a review of the business literature on qualitative and quantitative web site usability testing. The approach to the topic is based on an assumption that businesses are constantly refining their testing methods in order to make a profit; therefore, their testing methods are evolving and may ultimately be more efficient and effective than the techniques currently in use in libraries. Because businesses are dependent on consumer choice, they must provide user‐friendly web interfaces developed out of usability testing.
The findings of this paper illustrate that there are many useful kernels of information about testing that can be gleaned from the business literature and applied to testing in a library environment. Testing methods not in use in libraries that are covered include: process‐oriented testing, side‐by‐side testing, hybrid testing, and unique qualitative data gathering methods.
There are many testing methods discussed in this paper that can be implemented in libraries. The paper suggests how these methods can be adapted to fit a library testing setting and improve the current testing process in place in most libraries. Improved testing methods will ultimately result in improved web site interfaces, which will increase user access to information and help libraries fulfill their missions to make information and online resources accessible to all.
Usability testing methods currently not in use in libraries are proposed. The methods discussed can help librarians change and improve their testing methodologies in order to help libraries compete in the increasingly crowded information marketplace.
There is currently little published information about the use of total quality (TQ)‐based self‐assessment in the UK despite the increasing interest in the subject. Discusses the findings of a survey into the practice and benefits of self‐assessment to recognized models such as the European model for Total Quality Management and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award model. Survey findings indicate that companies are increasingly using self‐assessment and that benefits from this approach are quickly realized.
This study empirically examines the impact of quality effort orientation on the financial performance of certified Portuguese firms. The results of factor analysis…
This study empirically examines the impact of quality effort orientation on the financial performance of certified Portuguese firms. The results of factor analysis revealed four quality efforts orientation factors. The results of cluster analysis revealed the existence of three distinct groups of firms with regard to quality efforts orientation and performance. The analysis of variance results revealed that firms with a quality efforts orientation focusing on the customer tends to outperform firms utilising other quality efforts orientation with regard to net profit after taxes.
Key forces shaping higher education drive institutions to make strategic choices to locate themselves in niches where they can make use of their resources effectively and…
Key forces shaping higher education drive institutions to make strategic choices to locate themselves in niches where they can make use of their resources effectively and efficiently. However, the concepts of strategy and strategic positioning in higher education are contested issues due to the nature and complexity of the sector and the university. As an industry facing increasing pressure toward marketization and competition, this study calls for an analysis of higher education, as an industry, in a more business-oriented framework. This chapter makes a contribution to scholarly research in higher education by applying Porter’s five forces framework to medical education. In doing so, it provides a foundational perspective on the competitive landscape, its environment, its organizations, and the groups and individuals that make up the higher and medical education sector.
Multiple initiatives have been taken to address the lack of managerial skills of MBA graduates since the Porter and McKibbin report. How effective or widespread these…
Multiple initiatives have been taken to address the lack of managerial skills of MBA graduates since the Porter and McKibbin report. How effective or widespread these initiatives have been has been questioned. Before proceeding, 11 managerial skills were identified and tested for their relevance to performance. Support was found that nine of the 11 skills were associated with managerial performance. Why these two skills were not associated with performance was explored. To test for the effectiveness of the initiatives to teach managerial skills in MBA programs, multiple comparisons of the managerial skills of recent and past MBA graduates and other graduates were made. In general, the comparisons failed to find that MBAs have a significant advantage in managerial skills. Reasons for these findings are explored in the paper. In addition, the challenge this represents to MBA programs is also discussed.
In reviewing contemporary literature on materiality judgement and the audit expectations gap (AEG), this paper considers an apparent void concerning that aspect of the AEG…
In reviewing contemporary literature on materiality judgement and the audit expectations gap (AEG), this paper considers an apparent void concerning that aspect of the AEG caused by the non‐disclosure of materiality and risk thresholds and criteria in the financial reports. The review enables the formation and discussion of two premises: first, disclosing cornerstone concepts, such as materiality and risk judgements, in financial reports enhances users' understanding of the limitations of information contained therein; and second, expanding the wording in audit reports reduces the AEG and enhances users' understanding of the objectives and limitations of an audit. In supporting the validity of these premises, it is concluded that the disclosure of materiality and risk judgements in financial reports may reduce the AEG. This hypothesis may be useful for future empirical research.
There are a number of traditional business strategy theories that have been used to discuss business‐to‐business (B2B) e‐commerce strategy: Transaction Cost Economics…
There are a number of traditional business strategy theories that have been used to discuss business‐to‐business (B2B) e‐commerce strategy: Transaction Cost Economics, Resource‐Based View, Porter’s Market Forces Theory, and Channel Theory. However, there currently exists no comprehensive framework linking these theories into a method to rigorously assess value delivery strategies, and in particular to determine how to maximise the impact of the Internet as a value delivery channel. This paper answers this shortcoming by introducing a framework that draws together the main theories of strategic choice in a systematic fashion. In particular, the paper examines how different ways of delivering the same form of value (rather than particular products) from producer to customer may allow exploitation of the desirable features of the Internet to different degrees. By using a novel distribution business model from a real‐life case study to illustrate this framework, the paper uncovers several novel ways the Internet can enhance B2B strategy. The main contribution of the paper is the development of a formal, semi‐quantitative model of value delivery strategy evaluation, which can be used as a starting point for practical evaluation of strategy choices in particular settings, and also as a theoretical tool for discussing the role of the Internet in B2B e‐commerce in a more rigorous way.