Introduction to the principles of quality management, with an emphasis on cross-functional problem solving. Topics include customer driven quality, leadership, employee participation and training, continuous process improvement, design quality and error prevention, management by facts, and strategic quality planning. This course will provide a basic understanding of the philosophy, conceptual frameworks and the tools of the Total Quality Movement. Moreover, the course will underscore the importance of individual and corporate responsibility to the community.

1. Students in the class provide a needed service. At least one organization/agency will be selected to which students will be assigned for the design and completion of a consulting project. The project will have been identified jointly by the organization/agency and the instructor as one appropriate for the application of knowledge and skills related to this course. I am currently in the process of identifying and contacting likely organizations/agencies that may have an urgent need for process/product improvement. I have met with Rick Vandegraff, Director of AmeriCorps Volunteer to discuss possible service learning projects for students enrolled in this class and have agreed to meet with him this quarter to develop a plan for the project(s). He has agreed to actively participate in the assessment and evaluation of students' activities and service learning outcomes. We anticipate that students will either work with his agency in conjunction with the Wasatch Homeless Health Clinic or the Weigan Center for Homeless Children or both.

2. The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course. Whatever the service experience entails, the students will be challenged in the conduct of the project to carefully examine an important process in the organization/agency that has been targeted for a major quality improvement initiative and then, by utilizing quality improvement tools and methods, create a proposal or plan for implementing a set of recommendations developed by the students. For example, if the class students were to work with AmeriCorps to assist with agency efforts to increase utilization rates of inununizations of underprivileged children, this process improvement project would likely involve several activities including flowcharting the dissemination of promotional and educational materials, interviews with parents of patients, investigating barriers to immunization, and subsequent statistical data analysis.

3. Activities in the class provide methods for students to think about what they learned through the service experience and how this learning related to the subject of the class. Significant core values for those who practice quality management principles are corporate responsibility and citizenship. A company's management should stress corporate responsibility and encourage corporate citizenship. An important educational outcome from the class will be students' recognition of the role business leaders need to play to help define the obligations of their industry to its communities and to help make possible the realization of those duties. Furthermore, the course design will incorporate not only the identification of major value-added steps involved in providing a product or service, but also it will include opportunities for students to reflect about how their assistance, efforts and work have added value to the final results and in the delivery of the service (product) by the cooperating organization/agency. I will require the students to prepare a paper that addresses this personal aspect of the experience and that this paper will be evaluated for use in determining their final grades.

4. The course offers a method to assess the learning derived from the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone. Written and verbal assessments of the learning related to the service experience will be used in determining the final course grade. The students will author and sign a contract with the client organization/agency; the contract will include a brief description of the project, its objectives, and the basic procedural steps essential to accomplish the objectives, along with a Gantt chart that specifies anticipated completion dates for those tasks. Class time will be allotted for students to discuss the personal relevancy and meaning gained from their work with the organization/agency and the experiences intrinsic in community services they provided. Class participation will account for a proportion of the final course grade. The class participation grade will be derived from peer and evaluations.

5. Service interactions in the community recognize the needs of service recipients, and offer an opportunity for recipients to be involved in the evaluation of the service. The coordinator from the organization/agency will be asked to provide a written evaluation of the merit of the project report and the quality of the students' work. This evaluation should take into account feedback from others within the agency and (if possible) representative feedback from its customers/recipients. The coordinator will also be requested to provide feedback about the relative value of the project's recommendations and findings. The evaluator's assessment will account for a proportion of the final course grade.

6. The service opportunities are aimed at the development of the civic education of students even though they may also be focused on career preparation. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria are the basis for making the most prestigious awards related to business quality in the United States. The award criteria are built upon a set of core values, one of which is leadership. A business leader needs to set directions and create a customer orientation, clear and visible values and high expectations. Reinforcement of the values and expectations requires personal commitment and involvement. The leader's basic values and commitment need to address all stakeholders and include areas of public responsibility and corporate citizenship. The Baldrige Award, the Utah State Quality Award, and other awards and their criteria will be discussed with particular emphasis on the notions of public responsibility and citizenship as it relates to businesses and individuals. The students will learn from the class experiences that their personal involvement in service to people (especially those less fortunate) and their commitment to their communities is vitally important. Moreover, they will learn through their use of quality management skills and knowledge in the class activities and project that these skills can be transferred to other volunteer opportunities. The students will learn experientially that they can help make it possible for people and agencies to meet or even exceed high expectations.

7. Knowledge from the discipline informs the service experiences with which the students are involved. The major goals of service quality planning are to produce services that satisfy customer needs and expectations, to produce and deliver the required services efficiently, and to plan for quality control and quality improvement under operating conditions. Thus, the discipline of quality management offers a wealth of knowledge, tools, and skills that can provide assistance to managers of service organizations and agencies. For example, developing procedures to produce services efficiently includes doing things "right the first time", minimizing process complexities, and trying to make the process immune to inadvertent human errors. Statistical methods, interpersonal interaction skills and group dynamics, strategic planning, design quality and prevention, employee participation and development are only a few of the topics inherent in quality management.

8. The class offers a way to learn from other class members as well as from the instructor. The project will be administered using a team-based approach which necessitates frequent and purposeful communication with team members. Class time will be allocated for team problem-solving, planning, and organizing throughout the course. A presentation of the project and its results will occur near the end of the course. This will include an opportunity for sharing individual learning outcomes from the class experience.

Since I developed the graduate TQM class about 7 years ago, teams of students have been required to conduct successful quality improvement projects with various agencies and businesses. Many have been in the community service area and all have been pro bono. Some of the projects have been:
Improving Visitor Services for the University of Utah Hospital Process Analysis for U of U Wasatch Family Clinics (2 projects) Environmental Services Department of the U of U Hospital.

Some of the skills utilized in these projects include:

  • statistical analysis
    process analysis
    strategic quality planning
    research methods (such as interviews, focus groups, surveys, etc.) benchmarking
    planning for quality assurance improvement methods for human resource
    management quality control
    product and process design

In the Winter Quarter 1996 I taught the undergraduate class for the first time. However, it did not have a required project. I think that the class will be significantly improved with the addition of a service learning project and sincerely hope that this class will be approved as a service learning course. I also am in the process of changing the prerequisite from Mgt. 249 to requiring any introductory statistics class.

Text: Evans, J.R., and Lindsay, W.M. The Management and Control of Oualily (3nd Ed.). New York: West Publishing Company, 1996.
Supplementary cases: "New York City's 1993 Child Immunization Day: Planning, Costs, and Results." American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 85, Dec., 1995.

I. To enable students to develop a plan for action, guided by theory, that will lead to optimization of their organizations for world class performance by: Increasing their understanding of the philosophy of quality management, its principles, and its applications. Assisting them in obtaining a clearer understanding of the problems and opportunities in their own environment through analysis, in the light of theory, of actual practices from other organizations. Describing and discussing various approaches to improvement and innovation. Improving their technical proficiency to meet the increasing demand for quality. Enhancing their appreciation for the importance, need, and role of quality assurance.
II. Assisting them in understanding leadership and personal involvement in setting strategic directions and building and maintaining a leadership system conducive to high performance, individual development , and organizational learning.
The course is geared to developing the understanding of how executives create values and expectations, set directions, develop and maintain an effective leadership system, build company capabilities, and evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the company's organization and leadership systems. Futhermore, this course helps students to see how the company integrates its public responsibilities and corporate citizenship into its business planning and performance improvement practices.
This course will attempt to balance empirical work and quality concepts in an experiential approach.

Performance will be evaluated using several factors: Participation: based on the judgment of your classmates and the professor of how much you individually contribute to class discussions and class learning. This includes asking and answering questions, stating positions, pursuing and developing points made by others, clarifying values and issues, applying concepts, and sharing knowledge gained from readings and experience. The quality of student participation is of primary importance. You are encouraged to both ask and answer questions during class. I would also like to promote a "team spirit" in the class–one that fosters cooperation, enhances learning, and adds an element of enjoyment to the class experience. Attendance is critical for successful progression through the course; since this course uses a discussion method, it is imperative that attendance and punctuality also be high priorities for students.

Case Discussions: It is expected that all students will read and thoroughly evaluate the case. You should come to class each day after a case is assigned with either 1) written answers to the questions related to the case, if there are questions, or 2) a recommendation or a set of recommendations with reasons for your recommendation(s) along with the projected consequences of your recommendation(s), or (3) a brief paragraph of the quality-related issues surrounding the case. These written analyses will be collected at the end of the class.

Grading: Grades will be based upon student performance and assigned according to the new DESB Grading Policy. Essentially, it states: all courses offered by the David Eccles School of Business should adhere to the following class average GPA guidelines:

Level Recommended Range of Class Average GPA
400-599 2.8-3.2

Grades will be computed as follows:
Class participation (individual) 10%
Service Learning Paper 10%
Peer evaluation of individual contribution to project 10%
Agency evaluation (group) 10%
Final Project (group) 30% (content, form, quality)
Final exam 20%
Cases 10%

Withdrawal policy: Policies for withdrawal are published by the University of Utah and will be observed. It is the responsibility of the student to become aware of these policies. The last day to delete a class is February 14, 1997.

Flexibility in the class schedule is essential for the successful achievement of course objectives The course will use videotapes, lectures, readings, cases, a field study project and computer laboratory exercises as well as other pedagogical activities and methods. As the course proceeds, timelines may change somewhat to accomodate the orderly and thorough progression through the course.

Jan 6 Introduction to the class structure
The concept of quality
Organization into groups and assignment to projects Exchange of views and development of common ground Reading Assignment: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

Jan 8 The Quality System
Discussion of the Service Learning Experience Integrating Service Learning & Academic Education Reading Assignment: Chapter 4

Jan 13 Total Quality Management
Discussion of Project Planning and Progress
Case Assignment: N.Y. City's 1993 Child Immunization Day Letter of Understanding (Contract with Agency) Due

Jan 15 Dialog on Issues & Concerns related to S.L. Project Reading Assignment: Chapter 5

Jan 20 Focusing on Customers
Case Assignment: The Case of the Missing Reservation
or Western American Airlines Video: Quality Service–A Commitment to Customer Satisfaction

Jan 22 Martin Luther King/Human Rights Day

Jan 27 Case Discussion: N.Y. City's 1993 Child Immunization Day Group Project Coordination and Work
Reading Assignment: Chapter 8
Written Assignment: Draft of Progress Report on Project

Jan 29 Measurement and Strategic Information Management Reading Assignment: Chapter 9
Case Assignment: Ajax Insurance (pp. 386-89)
Dialog about Values and Meaning

Feb 3. Human Resource Management for Quality
Joint problem solving and project work
Reading Assignment: Chapter 10

Feb 10. Participation and Teamwork
Reading Assignment: Chapter 11
Case: Frustrated Team Builder (p. 477)

Feb 12 Individual Paper on the meaning of service in personal and professional life

Feb 17 Presidents' Day Holiday

Feb 19 Quality Management Evaluation and Assessment
Case Assignment: Ultra-Productivity Fasteners, Part II
Reading Assignment: Chapter 12

Feb 24 Quality Assurance & Control
Reading Assignment: Chapter 14 (pp. 572-577; 590-604)
Problem Assignment: Chapter 14 (1,3,5,7,11)

Feb 26 Computer Laboratory for SPC
Fundamentals of Statistical Process Control
In Class Exercises and Problems using computer programs
Reading Assignment: Chapter 15 pp. 639-660)
Problems: Chapter 15 (1,3,5,9,13,14,15,17,19,21)
Due date for problems TBA

Mar 3 Fundamentals of Statistical Process Control (Continued) SPC in Service Organizations
Reading Assignment: pp. 661-667; pp. 674-680
Case Assignment: Dean Door Corporation

Mar 5 Video: Strategic Quality Management Discussion of Service Learning Individual Team Conferences on Projects

Mar 10. Class Presentations and Discussion

Mar 12. Class Presentations and Discussion

Mar 17-20. Final Exam Period

Chapters have been scheduled for discussion and case analysis purposes and not for testing. The quarter will go very quickly, so please start early on the core requirements to avoid the "crunch". The reading assignments and cases along with the recommended homework problems have been selected to match the course credit load.