While the Japanese business world was concentrating on producing quality products, businesses in the United States were more concerned with producing large quantities of products. Their emphasis on quantity at the expense of quality let the Japanese, with their inexpensive, high quality products, gain a substantial foothold in American markets.
In the 1970s and 1980s, many American companies, including Ford, IBM, and Xerox, began adopting Dr Deming’s principles of Total Quality Management. This gradually led to their regaining some of the markets previously lost to the Japanese. Although Total Quality Management gained its prominence in the private sector, in recent years it has been adopted by some public organizations.
So far, this chapter has defined Total Quality Management, explored its origin, and explained how it emphasizes quality during production. Since quality is so important to any discussion of TQM, the next section explores this key element in detail.