A microcomputer-aided support environment for xerox quality improvement teams: A case study

Murali Venkatesh, Richard J. Leo, Karla M. Kuzawinski, Lester P. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although successful total quality management (TQM) emphasizes the role of teams, the quality literature does not provide a clear picture of the conditions that enable high-performance teamwork. This case study describes the impacts of a microcomputer-aided support environment implemented to support quality improvement teams (QITs) at Xerox. The support environment, called the Quality Support Center or QSC, was proposed and implemented explicitly to aid Xerox QITs in intensifying quality practice. The QSC features a comprehensive software tool kit, which, in conjunction with human facilitation, is designed to support correct use of Xerox structured meeting and quality processes and tools and facilitate team coordination over time. Impacts - realized from implementing solutions proposed by QITs using the QSC, as well as impacts on the work of QITs - have been substantial and far- reaching, indicating that use of the QSC has contributed significantly to the business bottom line and quality intensification. The contribution of contextual enablers to these impacts is assessed using Hackman's [1] influential model; QSC software is described as reinforcing and augmenting these contextual enablers. Practical implications of this study stem from its documentation of the impacts of use of the QSC in the award-winning TQM environment of Xerox. This study contributes to theory development as well by mapping features of the Xerox TQM environment on to the Hackman model. The mapping suggests the relevance of frameworks drawn from group research for modeling contextual enablers of high-performance teamwork in TQM settings, especially as the need for theory in assessing QIT performance enablers has been emphasized [2].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-159
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • Computer-supported cooperative work
  • Contextual enablers
  • Quality improvement teams
  • Quality processes
  • Quality tools
  • Total quality management
  • Xerox Corporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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