Quality Circles – An Effective Tool for Management...

Quality Circles – An Effective Tool for Management Quality circles consist of a basically formal, institutionalized mechanism for productive and participative problem solving interaction among the employees of an organization. Quality circles are made of groups of employees (normally 6 to 12) who perform similar tasks or share an area of responsibility. The groups meet on a regular basis, usually under the leadership of a supervisor and often with management, to discuss work related issues and to offer suggestions and ideas which when implemented not only improve the performance of the organization but also motivate and enrich the work of the employees. Quality circles operate on the principle that employee’s participation in decision making and problem solving improves the production methods and the quality. The characteristics of quality circles are that they consist of volunteers who set their own rules and priorities, take decisions by consensus and use organized approaches to problem solving. Quality circles activities should not be in the direction of fault finding. When matured quality circles become self managing, and gain the confidence of management. Quality circles enable the enrichment of the lives of the employees and create harmony and high performance. Typical work related issues are improvements in occupational health and safety, product design, manufacturing processes and improvement in the workplace. History Quality circles dates back to 1950s when they were first seen in the United States. But they were seriously developed and implemented by Dr Kaoru Ishikawa in Japan in 1960. The first quality circle was registered in 1962. Quality circles were re-exported to USA in the early 1970s. International Association of Quality Circles was formed in USA in 1977. BHEL Hyderabad was the first organization in India to start quality circles in 1982. Objectives of a quality circle...