Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game

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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.