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Quality Management and Continuous Improvement-Ethical Issues

What are some ethical or legal issues faced by quality managers in organizations or in an organization with a familiarity or in general? How are these issues best addressed? I also need to discuss effective and ineffective uses of benchmarking.

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Quality managers have always been faced with some of the most challenging dynamics that an organization has to offer. From an internal perspective, quality managers are constantly faced with the tiresome battle of "operations vs. quality control" (Maguad & Krone, 2009). For example, in almost all manufacturing plants, the goal to remain competitive is to run extremely lean. Most plants use a Just in Time (JIT) model of operations that does not allow very much room for error or the customer shipments are delayed. When potential quality issues arise, quality managers often have to make tough decisions under enormous amounts of pressure to; shutdown production lines, recall products, or many other costly and impactful responses (Ahmed & Machold, 2004). Needless to say, this can come at a loss in revenue to a company or could cause a potential for losing business. So, the operations managers apply heavy pressure to try and persuade the quality manager to "accept" the issue because the shipments have to be made. This is where the ethical and legal challenges come into play.

Quality managers are held to a standard that is generally directed by a rigid set of standards, policies, regulations, and rules established through governmental or corporate entities. These directives dictate what a quality manager must do to keep the public safe by ensuring products are good (Ahmed & Machold, 2004). For example, if the industry is food, the quality manager has many strict compliance issues that must be adhered to by production in order for the food to reach the public for consumption. If it's the automotive industry, a quality manager cannot shortcut potential defects due to the potential for safety and accidents that could occur. Toyota Motor Company is a good example of what can happen when quality is overlooked for the sake of pushing production; people lost their lives based on ...

Solution Summary

Quality managers are held to a standard that is generally directed by a rigid set of standards, policies, regulations, and rules established through governmental or corporate entities. These directives dictate what a quality manager must do to keep the public safe by ensuring products are good (Ahmed & Machold, 2004).

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