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Western Kentucky University

CWD: Courses: Quality Assurance Training

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Quality Circles

Session Format:

One 3-Hour Session


Quality Circles were first used in the 1960s by Japanese companies as a means of implementing Deming’s ideas on total quality management. They predate and differ from traditional self-managed work teams in both purpose and function. This session is designed to familiarize managers and other employees with what Quality Circles are and how they typically operate in American corporations.


The participant will learn: (1) what Quality Circles are and how they differ from self-directed teams, (2) how Quality Circles can be used to improve quality and productivity, (3) important considerations when implementing a Quality Circle program, (4) inherent limitations of Quality Circles, and (5) how to deal with resistance to Quality Circles.

Content Outline

  • Introduction to the Quality Circle approach
  • Brief history of quality circles in Japan and the United States
  • Types of organizations in which quality circles are most successful
  • How quality circles differ from self-managed teams
  • Common problems with quality circles and suggestions for overcoming these problems
  • Using quality circles to enhance quality, productivity, and morale
  • Using quality circles as a transition step to self-managed work teams

Who Should Attend

This seminar is intended for all employees including management, supervisors, and supervisor trainees.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14