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What are Quality Circles?
Quality circles are a Japanese quality management process developed by Kaoru Ishikawa. This approach serves quality control, process improvement, and motivational functions.
The approach calls for the creation of small groups of 5-11 members with all organizational units. The groups should be comprised of highly disciplined, high-performers. The individuals in the group voluntarily work on long-term quality improvement within the organization.
The idea is that allowing individuals to be members of this volunteer group should be prestigious. Not providing additional monetary incentives means that individuals taking part are self-motivated by the task functions.
Management promotes and facilitates the circles. The recommendations from the circles are implemented expeditiously. If a recommendation is rejected, the manager must explain or justify the rejection to the group.