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Q4 a Differentiate between the hard and the soft aspects of quality management Use practical examples of each within youranswer taking either the manufacturing sector or the service sector as your focus 12 marks b An organisation you know has just employed a new Human Resources Manager How is heshe likely to interact with thecompanys quality improvement programme 8 marks Total 30 marks The hard versus soft approach to quality is reflected in John Oaklands model of Total Quality Management a diagram of the modelaThe model suggests that the hard elements of QM are teams systems and tools and that the soft elements are culturecommitment and communication The key differential therefore is in the tangibility or perhaps more appropriately the visibility ofeach characteristic Oakland also suggests that the hard elements constitute necessities - that is they are needed to make realwhat might be called recognisable quality management those aspects of a the discipline that makes it distinctive from any otherThe hard necessities of Human Resource Management for example might be health and safety compensation and benefits andIf hard is necessary however soft is foundational or fundamental These underlie everything the organisation does and can bepro-actively focused on quality improvement or may ignore it completely If there is a numbers culture rather than a quality culturethen output volume will reign supreme Similarly an organisation may be committed to something other than quality and willcommunicate this message - purposely or otherwise - through its actions and policies Most students should be able to find examples of both hard and soft elements of quality management from their own experienceFor a manufacturing organisation hard might include metrological measurement laboratory testing SPC the quality department orsection For a service organisation there might be a customer services department complaints handling procedures and mysteryshoppers for example Some of these are likely to be common to both sectors as might ISO 9000 quality systems and teamsestablished for problem solving or improvement remember that
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