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Quality Circle

Evolution of Quality Circle: This concept was introduced in late 1960s by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa of Tokyo University & union of Japanese scientists & engineers. After a decade, the team came up with the idea of including not only the management, experts & quality control staff in quality-related issues but the total workforce of the organization leading to an altogether new beginning for Quality Circle. Quality Circle changed the perception of Japanese form being The junk merchants of world to manufacturers of the best quality products in the world. Concept: A Quality Circle involves participation from a small group of employees doing the same type of work in a team to enhance their productivity & quality of work. They meet regularly to identify, analyze & solve work related problems. They emphasize on improving quality, productivity & the total performance of the organization, & on enhancing the quality of work life of employees.

Though the original objective of Quality Circle was to improve quality, it also aims at enhancing the HR in the organization. This means encouraging employee participation & improving individual skills & thereby raising the quality & productivity of the organization.

Definition:By Edwin B. Flippo- A Quality Circle is a self-governing group of employees with or without their supervisors, who voluntarily meet on a regular basis to identify, analyze & solve problems in their work field.



It involves employees belonging to the same group participating voluntarily to solve work related problems & to improve quality of work & work life.

It comprises a set of highly skilled people selected by management from various functions to solve work related problems.

Quality Circle & Task Force, Comparison:QULAITY CIRCLE Orientation Member selection Member source Member skill Group objectives Implementation of solutions People building Voluntary Same work group Doesnt matter Selected by members TASK FORCE Problem solving Appointed Various functions Most skilled Selected by management

Largely by members

Largely by others

Objectives of Quality Circle: To enhance, develop & utilize HR effectively. To improve quality of products as well as productivity. To improve QWL. To motivate employees by encouraging them to participate in organizational activities & by recognizing their achievements. To improve leadership, problem-solving, interpersonal & conflict resolution skills of the employees. To sharpen & utilize an individuals creative & innovative skills.

Process of Problem Solving In Quality Circle:FROM: Management members/others


By members/ others



By member s

By management



By members/ invited specialist

By members



By members

Features of Quality Circle: It is a voluntary group. It represents a collective effort. It intends to improve quality of output. It coordinates the activities of members towards improving the quality of work in the workshop. It facilitates frequent meetings & discussions of members for improving quality. It has no discrimination against age, sex & position.

Development & Working Of Quality Circle/ Introducing Quality Circle In An Organization:Following are the phases in the development & working of Quality Circle:

Getting started:This is the first step & it involves selling the idea of Quality Circle in the organization. In other words, introducing & communicating the need for Quality Circle & its advantages to the organization.

Composition:A Quality Circle should consist of 6-12 members doing the same kind of work or from the same work area. The information about the composition should be made available to the top management.

Initial problem solving:-

After being trained people in quality circle begin to solve problems. Data collection & data analysis stages precede problem solving stage. These stages help in analyzing the reasons behind a problem & finding a solution. Problem solving requires that the quality circle members meet regularly. Further these solutions are analyzed to arrive at a final decision through consensus.

Presentation of suggestions:Once the quality circle members come out with a solution to a particular problem, they submit it to the top management for approval either through an oral presentation or a project report.

Execution:This is the final stage in developing a quality circle. The suggestions approved in the previous stage are implemented.

Problems in Implementing Quality Circle: Negative attitude:The employees and even managers may have negative attitude towards the quality circle. Naturally, they will resist its implementation. The wrong notions of the people about quality circles should be cleared.

Lack of ability:The workers in India have a low level of education. They also lack leadership qualities. To overcome this hurdle, Workers' Education Program should be initiated.

Lack of management commitment:The top management may not be committed to the concept of quality circle. The employees may not be allowed to hold meetings of quality circles during the working hours. The management should allow the workers to hold quality circle meetings periodically during the working hours.

Non-implementation of suggestions:-

The workers will feel disheartened if their suggestions are turned down without any reason. The suggestions of each quality circle should be given due weight age.

Benefits of Quality Circle: Helps in innovation & changes in the work place. Quality Circle is proved to be a value tool for increasing productivity, improving quality & increasing workers job satisfaction. Quality Circle helps in the development of participants as they are encouraged to produce innovative ideas & find new ways to improve product quality. Quality Circle provides opportunities for better understanding among the members.

Conclusion:A quality circle is a volunteer group composed of workers (or even students), usually under the leadership of their supervisor (but they can elect a team leader), who are trained to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems and present their solutions to management in order to improve the performance of the organization, and motivate and enrich the work of employees. They are formal groups. They meet at least once a week on company time and are trained by competent persons (usually designated as facilitators) who may be personnel and industrial relations specialists trained in human factors and the basic skills of problem identification, information gathering and analysis, basic statistics, and solution generation. Quality circles are generally free to select any topic they wish. Quality circles have the advantage of continuity; the circle remains intact from project to project.