chapter  6
10 Pages

Human Factors and TQM

Over the past decade the pace of change in industry has been remarkable. Whether in manufacturing or

service, industry has moved on an unprecedented scale to new technologies, new forms of organization,

and new programs (Mize, 1992). It has not done this from an innate love of change, but because of stra-

tegic imperatives. The removal of tariff barriers and creation of trading blocs (EU, NAFTA, etc.) in the

1980s and 1990s has exposed even the smaller companies to unprecedented competition. One response in

industrial countries has been to join the competition rather than fight it, for example by using manufac-

turing (and service) facilities in areas of relatively low labor costs. Thus, European and Japanese auto-

mobile plants have appeared in the U.S., while American apparel plants have been built in Central

and South America. Even service operations, such as data entry and computer programming have

been moved “offshore” using modern communication links.