QUALITY OR ELSE: THE REVOLUTION IN WORLD BUSINESS By Lloyd Dobyns and Clare Crawford-Mason
Houghton Mifflin -- 309pp -- $21.95
It's hard to believe that there's anyone left in the U. S. who hasn't heard gf or been directly touched by the quality movement sweeping Corporate America. In one company after another, "quality" has become a sort of mantra.
Yet, despite all the sloganeering, no one until now has written a coherent book that makes the debate on the role of quality in U. S. competitiveness accessible to the general public. Quality or Else meets that challenge head on.
Unlike most such business books, this one tells the story in straightforward language stripped of jargon. It acquaints the uninitiated with the ideas of the four quality gurus--W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, Philip B. Crosby, and Armand V. Feigenbaum--and explains how each differs from the other. It also details success stories from Federal Express Corp. to Motorola Inc. Most important, it places the story within the framework of America's decline in competitiveness.
This is not an elegantly written book. At times, it reads more like a script from a local television news show (it is in fact a companion to a Public Broadcasting Service series). But the book clarifies the often-mysterious hoopla about quality and makes a convincing case thatthe movement is crucial to the nation's future.JOHN A. BYRNE