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Are TQM principles supporting innovation in the Portuguese footwear industry?

Abrunhosa, Ana; Sá, Patrícia Moura e
Fonte: Universidade de Coimbra Publicador: Universidade de Coimbra
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: aplication/PDF
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
27.79%
The relationship between total quality management (TQM) and innovation is complex. Literature suggests that conflicting arguments exist and that the impact of TQM on innovation depends both on the specific quality management elements under consideration and on the type of innovation. In this research, our goal is to analyse at what extent the introduction of TQM is indeed supporting innovation in the Portuguese footwear industry. Since this is a mature industry, whose traditional competitive base is disappearing and where familiar to medium units dominate, our emphasis is on the study of the organisational requirements to adopt constant changes in process technology. This study is based on empirical data collected from a set of firms by means of a survey instrument, especially developed with this purpose, after an extended contact with the industry where case studies and interviews were conducted with carefully selected organisations and sector experts. Findings give support to the view that in fact TQM principles have a positive association with the adoption of technological innovation. Yet, both the prevalence of features of the mechanistic model and the lack of maturity of most initiatives in the Portuguese footwear firms restrains the role of TQM in supporting innovation.; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8B-4R003DV-1/1/4e2ee16f993a27bf9df8da43f42c59c0

O impacto da gestão pela qualidade total no desempenho financeiro das empresas em Portugal

Carvalho, Marquinha Teixeira de
Fonte: Universidade de Coimbra Publicador: Universidade de Coimbra
Tipo: Dissertação de Mestrado
POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
28.18%
Neste trabalho analisa-se em que medida os factores do meio envolvente influenciam a implementação da TQM, a relação entre a TQM e a performance das empresas, bem como o efeito interativo entre a TQM, ISO, BSC, SCM, Seis sigma, Benchmarking, JIT e BPR. Para testas as hipóteses formuladas utilizou-se a análise da regressão linear múltipla e a análise da variância multivariada. A análise de cluster hierárquica foi também utilizada para identificar grupos de empresas. Tendo como base uma amostra de 126 empresas portuguesas, os principais resultados revelam que o meio envolvente complexo propicia a implementação das práticas da TQM. As práticas da TQM por si só apresentam resultados mistos na explicação da performance. Porém, a junção de todas as práticas da TQM explicam a variabilidade dos indicadores da performance. Os resultados revelam também a existência de três grupos de empresas quanto a TQM: (1) altamente comprometidos com a TQM; (2) moderadamente comprometidos com a TQM; (3) fracamente comprometidos com a TQM. Os resultados obtidos revelam a inexistência de interacções estatisticamente significativas entre a TQM e as restantes filosofias na explicação dos indicadores da performance.; The premise of this research is to analyse to which extent environmental factors affect the implementation of TQM as well as the relationship between TQM and firm performance. Two-way joint effects between TQM and others management approaches on the firm performance was also conducted. Given that...

Training needs in TQM: the Portuguese perspective

Leal, Rogério P.; Oliveira, Paula; Dias, José M.; Pereira, Zulema L.
Fonte: IET Publicador: IET
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em /11/2005 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.79%
A survey to assess training needs in TQM was developed in several European countries, within the framework of a Leonardo’s project named IMVOCED. Beyond a comparison of the results in each country, a global analysis was performed to design a TQM programme to be delivered by WBL (Work Based Learning). Differences were found between countries, and the Portuguese results also revealed that different approaches to TQM training should be adopted according to the organisation’s dimension. Based on this evidence, two different strategies for TQM training by WBL are proposed and discussed.

An integrated approach for TQM implementation in SMEs

Pereira, Zulema L.; Pedroso, Leonilde M.
Fonte: IET Publicador: IET
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em /11/2005 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.57%
This paper tackles the broad issue of TQM implementation in SMEs. It includes a review of two models aimed at improving organisational performance, the EFQM Excellence Model and the Balanced Scorecard, which have been widely used in large organisations. Both models are examined as to their suitability and applicability to small and medium sized enterprises. The findings indicate that SMEs can benefit from the adoption of an integrated approach that combines both models if some critical factors are considered in the implementation process. A theoretical framework is proposed, which considers such integration and leads to a gradual implementation of TQM principles and methods in SMEs.

Is TQM more difficult to implement than other transformational strategies?

Cândido, Carlos; Santos, Sérgio Pereira dos
Fonte: Universidade do Algarve Publicador: Universidade do Algarve
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2011 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.91%
This paper aims to assess whether Total Quality Management (TQM) is harder to implement than other business strategies. In order to accomplish this objective we have adopted a two-stage methodology. Firstly, we carried out an extensive review of the literature to identify the rates of TQM implementation failure estimated by researchers and practitioners. Secondly, we compared these rates with those estimated for other organisation-wide transformational efforts and explored the extent to which the obstacles to TQM implementation and to the implementation of other business strategies differ. Based on the literature reviewed and on the comparative analyses performed, we conclude that while it is widely acknowledged that the implementation of TQM can be a difficult task, significant uncertainty remains as to what the exact rate of failure is. Furthermore, the analyses suggest that the rates of failure and obstacles to TQM implementation are similar to those presented by other business strategies, and therefore, there seems to be no grounds to assume that TQM is more difficult to implement than other business strategies. These findings have implications for researchers and practitioners and open up several avenues for further research...

Avaliando as intenções do empregado mudar de empresa, antes e após a implantação do TQM

Guimaraes,Tor
Fonte: Universidade Federal de São Carlos Publicador: Universidade Federal de São Carlos
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/12/1998 PT
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Os programas de gerenciamento da qualidade total (TQM - Total Quality Management) têm produzido uma significativa lista de benefícios e continuam acumulando adeptos à sua filosofia. Muitos dos requisitos básicos para uma implementação bem sucedida do TQM estão relacionados a mudanças no trabalho das pessoas na empresa, incluindo: a necessidade de trabalhar em equipe e o incentivo ao gerenciamento participativo, o estimulo à criatividade e ao espírito inovador do empregado, uma apropriada forma de recompensa, a criação de um clima organizacional com comprometimento em todos os níveis, feedback do cliente, um ambiente propício a negociação entre empregado e gerente, o incentivo ao envolvimento e energização do empregado para melhoria das comunicações e agilização da tomada de decisões. Qual é o impacto destes requisitos nas intenções do empregado mudar de empresa? O principal propósito deste estudo foi testar empiricamente várias hipóteses que comparam as intenções do funcionário mudar de empresa, e seus antecedentes, nos momentos anterior e posterior à implantação de um programa de TQM. Para analisar essa diferença, utilizou-se do estudo de 113 empregados de uma empresa, anteriormente a implementação do TQM...

As relações entre estratégia de produção, TQM (Total Quality Management ou Gestão da Qualidade Total) e JIT (Just-In-Time): estudos de caso em uma empresa do setor automobilístico e em dois de seus fornecedores

Cerra,Aline Lamon; Bonadio,Patricia Viera Grizola
Fonte: Universidade Federal de São Carlos Publicador: Universidade Federal de São Carlos
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/12/2000 PT
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37.7%
Este artigo tem como objetivo discutir as relações existentes entre as Estratégias de Produção e os programas TQM (Total Quality Management ou Gestão da Qualidade Total) e JIT (Just-In-Time), destacando a importância da integração destes programas às Estratégias de Produção nas empresas. O estudo desta integração demonstrou que os programas TQM e JIT, embora possam trabalhar separadamente, são complementares e devem estar alinhados com as Estratégias de Produção a fim de promover melhorias na função produção. Além disso, será verificado de que modo a empresa automobilística condiciona a difusão das estratégias e programas adotados em sua cadeia de fornecedores. Serão apresentados os conceitos básicos e questões teóricas relacionados à Estratégia de Produção, ao TQM e ao JIT, e um estudo de caso nas três empresas.

A Total Quality Management Methodology for Universities

Flores-Molina, Jose C
Fonte: FIU Digital Commons Publicador: FIU Digital Commons
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: application/pdf
Relevância na Pesquisa
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This research document is motivated by the need for a systemic, efficient quality improvement methodology at universities. There exists no methodology designed for a total quality management (TQM) program in a university. The main objective of this study is to develop a TQM Methodology that enables a university to efficiently develop an integral total quality improvement (TQM) Plan. Current research focuses on the need of improving the quality of universities, the study of the perceived best quality universities, and the measurement of the quality of universities through rankings. There is no evidence of research on how to plan for an integral quality improvement initiative for the university as a whole, which is the main contribution of this study. This research is built on various reference TQM models and criteria provided by ISO 9000, Baldrige and Six Sigma; and educational accreditation criteria found in ABET and SACS. The TQM methodology is proposed by following a seven-step meta-methodology. The proposed methodology guides the user to develop a TQM plan in five sequential phases: initiation, assessment, analysis, preparation and acceptance. Each phase defines for the user its purpose, key activities, input requirements, controls...

Administraci??n y gesti??n de la calidad total en la Farmacia Oficinal: "TQM una alternativa para competir". (Parte 1)

Oviedo, S.; Antonello, A.; Pauli, N.A. di
Fonte: Universidad de Granada, Facultad de Farmacia Publicador: Universidad de Granada, Facultad de Farmacia
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG; SPA
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.79%
En los albores del siglo XXI el mercado de las Farmacias Privadas, est?? regido por las legislaciones vigentes (Nacional y Provincial) y por la presi??n de la pr??ctica comercial de sus componentes. Este mercado de caracter??sticas particulares se encuadra en un escenario muy competitivo donde al igual que otros sectores de la salud, se debe compatibilizar el concepto de cliente con el de paciente y el de negocio con el de servicio. En este contexto la ???Gesti??n Farmac??utica??? es fundamental para el desempe??o ??ptimo; tambi??n es importante el rol que cumple en este entorno la Administraci??n de la Oficina de Farmacia como Negocio y como Centro de Salud. Dentro del universo de t??cnicas que propone el Gerenciamiento, la Gesti??n Estrat??gica y de Calidad Total (GTC) es una de las que m??s se adapta a la din??mica del Servicio Farmac??utico. La introducci??n del concepto de calidad total plantea le necesidad de la Administraci??n Estrat??gica, fijando objetivos y pol??ticas a partir del desarrollo de una novedosa capacidad de intervenir en un sistema que tiende a ser cada vez m??s complejo, con escaso margen de informaci??n y con ellos provocar un cambio que implique cumplir con los objetivos y metas predeterminadas dentro del equilibrio del sistema competitivo. El desarrollo de la Gesti??n Total de la Calidad o en el ingl??s TQM (GTC) comprende la definici??n de la misi??n de la organizaci??n...

External managerial networks, strategic flexibility and organizational learning: A comparative study between Non-QM, ISO and TQM firms

Fern??ndez-P??rez, Virginia; Guti??rrez-Guti??rrez, Leopoldo
Fonte: Total Quality Management & Business Excellence (Taylor&Francis) Publicador: Total Quality Management & Business Excellence (Taylor&Francis)
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.7%
"This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Total Quality Management and Business Excellence on 18 Jun 2012, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14783363.2012.669558".; This paper studies the effect of external managerial social networks on strategic flexibility and organizational learning, considering three groups of analysis (Non-QM, ISO and TQM firms). At the present, there is a wide variety of alternatives for managing quality in organizations, such as ISO Standards or the EFQM model. Thus, different alternatives will influence the external social networks differently, affecting strategic flexibility and organizational learning, as literature on external social networks suggests that they can affect strategic flexibility and organizational learning positively. Through a comparative ANOVA analysis and step-wise regressions, we observe that external social networks affect strategic flexibility and organizational learning positively, primarily through greater size of the networks. On the other hand, we find that, depending on the QM initiative implemented in the organization, other effects vary. For example, in organizations without QM, the range of external social networks influences strategic flexibility negatively...

Total quality management practices, competitive strategies and financial performance: the case of the Palestinian industrial SMEs

Herzallah, Ahmad; Guti??rrez-Guti??rrez, Leopoldo; Mu??oz Rosas, Juan Francisco
Fonte: Total Quality Management & Business Excellence (Taylor&Francis) Publicador: Total Quality Management & Business Excellence (Taylor&Francis)
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
27.7%
"This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Total Quality Management and Business Excellence on 19 Aug 2013, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14783363.2013.824714."; The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Total Quality Management (TQM) practices, competitive strategies - cost leadership and differentiation- and firm performance in the Palestinian economy. Within this study total quality management has been conceptualized as soft and hard practices, in congruence with the literature. An empirical analysis based upon an extensive validation process was applied to refine TQM, competitive strategies and financial performance scales. Data were collected through surveying 202 in Palestinian industrial small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Structural Equation Modeling was carried out to test the anticipated relationships. Results derived from this study show that TQM practices have indirect, positive and significant relationship with financial performance through competitive strategies. In addition, a direct, positive and significant relationship between competitive strategies and financial performance was observed. Results derived from this study might help managers to implement TQM practices in order to effectively allocate resources and improve financial performance.

Planning and implementing Total Quality Management (TQM) in a Naval service organization : a case study of Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center James Lee Caro.

Caro, James Lee.
Fonte: Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School Publicador: Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: ix, 108 p. ill.
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
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Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.; A Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) initiative in 1989 prompted Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center (FNOC) to request that an organizational study of their operations be conducted and a strategy for implementing Total Quality Management (TQM) be developed. This thesis provided that study. The study's goal was to determine FNOC's readiness to accept TQM. And if they were assessed as ready, to tailor a TQM implementation plan to their needs. Furthermore, a case was provided to help others wrestle with the readiness and implementation issues. The study used a two-phased approach to assess FNOC. The first phase was a review of the current practitioner-oriented management literature about TQM, change theory, and strategic management. The second phase was followed by an on- site field study of FNOC itself, including an Organizational Assessment Survey and personnel interviews. This phase provided an organizational assessment of its strengths and weaknesses that might help or hamper TQM implementation.; Lieutenant, United States Navy

From quality gurus and TQM to ISO 9001:2015: a review of several quality paths

Fonseca, Luis Miguel
Fonte: Center for Quality, University of Montenegro and Center for Quality, University of Kragujevac, Serbia Publicador: Center for Quality, University of Montenegro and Center for Quality, University of Kragujevac, Serbia
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 18/03/2015 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.57%
A revision of several paths for the Quality journey is presented: from Quality Gurus and Total Quality Management (TQM) models to the ISO 9000 International Standards Series. Since ISO 9001:2008 is now in the revision process to the expected ISO 9001:2015 version, an analysis is made of he proposed changes and the underlying reasons and the impacts foreseen on the more than 1.3 Million certified organizations. This revision should be a step towards TQM and reflect the changes of an increasingly complex, demanding and dynamic environment, while assuring that complying organizations are able to provide conformity products and services that satisfy their customers. Major benefits are expected such as less emphasis on documentation and new/reinforced approaches: consideration of Organizational Context and (relevant) Stakeholders, Risk Based thinking and Knowledge Management.

Resource dependence and institutional elements in nursing home TQM adoption.

Zinn, J S; Weech, R J; Brannon, D
Fonte: PubMed Publicador: PubMed
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em /06/1998 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
27.91%
OBJECTIVE: To examine the contextual attributes that influence nursing home TQM adoption, as informed by resource dependence and institutional theories. DATA SOURCES: A survey of licensed nursing home administrators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during 1994-1995, the Medicare and Medicaid Annual Certification Survey (MMACS) data file, and the Area Resource File (ARF). STUDY DESIGN: Because the dependent variable (TQM adoption vs. non-adoption) is dichotomous, the model was estimated using logistic regression. DATA COLLECTION: Of the 615 facilities that were mailed surveys, 241 (39.2%) returned completed questionnaires. No significant differences were observed between respondents and nonrespondents in size, for-profit status, system membership, registered nurse staffing, cited licensure deficiencies, Medicare census, or Medicaid census. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Perceived competition, Medicare's share of total hospital discharges in the market, and facility Medicare census were significant predictors of TQM adoption. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide limited support for the association between some rational adaptive and institutional factors and TQM adoption in nursing homes. Perceived competition and the influence of the Medicare program both at the facility and the market level are associated with TQM adoption. However...

O EFEITO DA TQM E DA INOVAÇÃO NO CRESCIMENTO DAS EMPRESAS DE MANUFATURA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO DOI:10.5585/rai.v6i2.261; THE INFLUENCE OF TQM AND INNOVATION ON THE GROWTH OF MANUFACTURING COMPANIES IN THE STATE OF SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL DOI:10.5585/rai.v6i2.261

Facó, Júlio Francisco Blumetti; Duarte, André Luís de Castro Moura; Csillag, João Mario
Fonte: Universidade de São Paulo. Economia, Administração e Contabilidade Publicador: Universidade de São Paulo. Economia, Administração e Contabilidade
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article; info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion; Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 31/08/2009 POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
38.04%
O objetivo desta pesquisa é verificar o efeito do uso do Total Quality Management (TQM) e da inovação, tanto de produto como de processo, na taxa de crescimento das empresas de manufatura do Estado de São Paulo. Verificou-se ainda o efeito da TQM na própria inovação. Este estudo fez uso da base de dados secundários da Fundação SEADE, a PAEP, elaborada em dois momentos (1996 e 2001) com um total de 2.278 empresas de manufatura do Estado de São Paulo. Além da análise descritiva dos dados, utilizou-se a técnica de regressão múltipla. Os resultados apontam que as empresas que fizeram uso de TQM e que foram inovadoras tiveram um crescimento médio superior quando comparado com as demais. Afora isso, pôde-se constatar que as inovações de processo e o uso do TQM ajudaram a esclarecer o crescimento da empresa. Por fim, verificou-se que o uso da TQM pode ajudar a explicar mais a inovação de processo do que a inovação de produto.; The aim of this study is to research into the relationship between growth in manufacturing companies in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and the adoption of Total Quality Management (TQM) and innovation indicators, applied to products and processes. The authors analyzed data collected by SEADE in 1996 and 2001 in 2...

Transition Services Quality Management (TQM) Project Year Four Interim Evaluation

Brown, Pamela; Giancola, Susan
Fonte: Delaware Education Research & Development Center Publicador: Delaware Education Research & Development Center
Tipo: Relatório Formato: 351338 bytes; application/pdf
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.7%
This interim evaluation examined how parents of children with disabilities view the progress and direction of the Transition Services Quality Management (TQM) initiative. Delaware’s TQM Project is a joint initiative co-sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Division for Vocational Rehabilitation. The intent of the TQM Project is to enhance the provision of services to Delaware’s students with disabilities as they transition from secondary school into either the workforce or higher education.

Transition Services Quality Management (TQM) Project Year Four Evaluation

Brown, Pamela; Giancola, Susan
Fonte: Delaware Education Research & Development Center Publicador: Delaware Education Research & Development Center
Tipo: Relatório Formato: 297252 bytes; application/pdf
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.7%
This evaluation examined how parents of children with disabilities and educators view the progress and direction of the Transition Services Quality Management (TQM) initiative. Delaware’s TQM Project is a joint initiative co-sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Division for Vocational Rehabilitation. It is important to note when reviewing the results that almost half of the parents reported not being involved at all with transition services planning over the past four years. The intent of the TQM Project is to enhance the provision of services to Delaware’s students with disabilities as they transition from secondary school into either the workforce or higher education.

Práticas de TQM e qualidade do produto : uma abordagem utilizando conjuntos difusos

Mareco, Carlos Miguel Maia
Fonte: Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão Publicador: Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão
Tipo: Dissertação de Mestrado
Publicado em //2015 POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
37.57%
Mestrado em Ciências Empresariais; A crescente procura por produtos de qualidade levou a que os fabricantes intensificassem os seus esforços no desenvolvimento e aplicação de programas de gestão da qualidade, com destaque para a Gestão pela Qualidade Total (GQT). No presente estudo pretende-se demonstrar a relação existente entre as práticas da GQT e a Qualidade do Produto (QP) recorrendo ao método Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Os resultados obtidos sugerem que o Foco no Cliente e o Compromisso da Gestão de Topo são condições necessárias para a obtenção da QP, e que a Gestão de Recursos Humanos orientados para a Qualidade são uma condição almost always necessary. Na análise de resultados das condições suficientes, verificou-se que a combinação das práticas, Gestão da Qualidade do Design, Compromisso da Gestão de Topo e o Foco no Cliente obtêm o maior grau de consistência (0,97). Por outro lado a, aplicação das práticas, Gestão de Recursos Humanos orientados para a Qualidade, Compromisso da Gestão de Topo e o Foco no Cliente, embora com uma consistência menor (0,95), revelam maior cobertura (0,81). São também consideradas condições suficientes as combinações de práticas que incluem a Gestão de Recursos Humanos orientados para a Qualidade...

The role of individual differences in employee adoption of TQM orientation

Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M.; Morrow, Paula C.
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /04/2003 EN; EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
27.79%
While Total Quality Management (TQM) has emphasized organizational-level factors in achieving successful implementation, human capital theory and person-environmental fit models suggest individual difference factors may also be useful. Accordingly, the ability of organizational commitment, trust in colleagues, and higher order need strength to explain variation in TQM adoption, after inclusion of organizational level factors, is assessed using longitudinal data from a manufacturing setting. These three individual differences collectively explain 7% to19% of incremental variation in TQM adoption and are found to be relatively better predictors of TQM adoption than organizational level factors. The findings support increased consideration of individual differences in order to implement TQM and other forms of organizational change more effectively.

The impact of a TQM intervention on work attitudes: a longitudinal case study

Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M.
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1996 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
27.95%
Total Quality Management (TQM) has been heralded as a new way of managing organizations. While there are widespread endeavours by organizations to implement TQM, a visible lag exists between the adoption of TQM and a systematic evaluation of this phenomenon. The thesis, therefore, addresses a fundamental question in TQM; what is the impact, if any, of a TQM intervention on employee work attitudes? This 'before and after study' examines the impact of a 'soft' TQM intervention on two key elements of TQM: teamwork and continuous improvement. A questionnaire was completed by respondents six months prior to and nine months after the launch of the intervention. The starting point in the evaluation is the development of theoretical models containing hypothesized antecedents of teamwork and continuous improvement which are empirically tested on the data. The intervention is then evaluated on the basis of its direct and indirect effects on the two key elements of TQM. In addition, the impact of the intervention is assessed both at the individual and the organizational level. At the individual level, the intervention was found to have a significant effect on team orientation as well as on a number of dimensions of continuous improvement, including general orientation to quality...