Quality and Power in the Supply Chain reconcile two divergent worlds for the beleaguered quality manager. The first is that of quality and managerial fads, promoted by quality professionals and the quality ‘industry’ – with its seminars, certification programs, and the pressures of an ever-increasing number of international standards, state and national legislation, and powerful corporations. The second is a virtual antithesis to this world of mission statements, quality policies, procedures, and statistical techniques, and is embodied in the international phenomenon that is the Dilbert (TM) cartoon strip. Across America and Europe, millions of ordinary employees revel in the truths that are exposed concerning corporate absurdities and blind reliance upon acronym-laden quick-fixes.
Here you will find the gap bridged between the vast literature of quality fads (including the recent tranche of international standards) and that more humorous portrayal of these worlds. The origins of today’s quality ideology and the industry are traced, followed by a description of how the quality profession popularizes, promotes, and ultimately benefits from the fads that come and go. Finally, it is shown that despite the propaganda of the profession, there is a separate reality to “quality” and that management principles in this field can only ever be a small limiting factor in corporate success.