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Achieving Quality-Driven Culture in the Organization

Understanding the Concept of Culture

What is culture? Why does it matter in the business organization? There are many similar and related definitions of what culture is, that is in the like of Forehand and von Gilmer (1964), Hofstede (1980), Schein (1990), and Kotter & Heskett (1992). Summing them up, culture may simply mean an arrangement of learned or gained knowledge, values, beliefs, communication, and behaviors of a group of people at the same time in a common place.

This provides a more likely clearer understanding of culture in the context of the organization, being termed by Forehand and Gilmer as 'the arrangement of different attributes that express an organization'. According to Robbins & Sanghi (2007), culture is a system of common values which can be estimated that people describe the similar organization culture even with different background at different levels within the organization. From here we can learn that culture can be instilled, embedded and transformed. Furthermore, culture impacts the performance of the business; that is why it takes to cultivate a healthy culture within the organization in order for it to perform well.

Culture as Linked to the Concept of Quality

Just like culture, quality definition has different versions but has common understanding. According to Joseph M. Juran, quality means 'the fitness for use' as dictated by the customer. In ISO 9000:2005 QMS Fundamentals & Vocabulary, Quality is a degree to which a set of inherent characteristics  fulfills the requirements (3.1.1). Inherent characteristics are referred to as features which are existing (3.5.1), while requirements are referred to as 'needs or expectations that are stated, generally implied or obligatory (3.1.2). Thus, in the manufacturing industry quality products are those goods which feature requirements that comply to certain standards that the end users consider, while in the service sector quality service is doing work for individuals or groups/organizations that satisfy them by meeting their needs, wants and expectations.

Quality-driven Culture in the Organization

In the perspective of the organization, quality-driven culture or quality culture can be something that is embedded in the business processes that upholds the organization's goal of delivering quality products and/or services.

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