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Quality Control Management

Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability by Duckworth, Holly A

By Duckworth, Holly A

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Later, we will discuss how this structure can be translated to include continual improvement for social responsibility. In many cases, continual improvement programs are launched in order to affect the culture of the organization. Our customers are dissatisfied, or we have failed to gain new business, or our market share is decreasing due to innovation by our competitors. These might be externally motivated “burning platforms” on which an organizational culture change is launched. In other cases, we might have new ownership or leadership who has seen continual improvement in action and T he S t o ry o f C o n tinua l Im p r o v em en t 29 understands the opportunities for performance improvement that are being missed.

Let’s go back to the Kongo Gumi example and its origins in 578 AD. At that time, in Japan, businesses were handed from father to son. Sustaining a business was predicated on the birth of boys. However, in the 1930s, Kongo Gumi, a very successful construction company, found itself without male heirs (O’Hara, 2004). Rather than closing the company, they chose to be innovative. It is reported that Kong Gumi used the very unconventional practice of adopting the husbands of daughters as sons, and thus, sustain the line of heirs and therefore the continuity of the company.

If you were very sick, you would go to a hospital. At the hospital, there would be a few specialists such as nurses and surgeons. But typically you would see your personal physician. This person generally received university training. This training wasn’t particularly standardized. Licensing was loose at best, especially in rural areas. The quality of healthcare you received was directly related to the skill of your family physician and where you lived. In the 1950s, quality in the healthcare industry matured some.

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