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Business & Marketing
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Quality (Essay Sample)


Analyze the concept of \'quality\' from different perspectives.


The Meaning of Quality
The Meaning of Quality
Quality can be defined as the conventional or perceptual aspect of a product or a service to fulfill a set of anticipated needs (Golder, 2012). An essential requirement of a service or a product to be considered as ‘quality’ is that it must meet the needs of people who actually use them. As a result, the concept of ‘fit’ can best be used to describe the fundamental aspects of ‘quality’. In business context, quality is perhaps the most complex element of business strategy as firms seek competitive advantage over their rivals. According to Tellis & Johnson (2007), quality is a key factor to customer satisfaction, profitability and sustainable business growth and development. Given the breadth of ‘quality’ in business environment, various disciplines including marketing, economics, engineering and management among others forms the realm of quality in business practices. For effective quality management in a business context, consumer research is imperative in order to understand the customer needs more clearly.
Over the last few decades, the concept of ‘quality’ has evolved through various programs including Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma among others (Golder, 2012). These programs have been helping firms, especially the food manufacturing organizations, to improve their products and services quality. In the contemporary society, quality continues to be a fundamental part in business growth and development through enhancing higher customer satisfaction, and improved services and product delivery system resulting into higher customer loyalty. According to Brady and Cronin (2001), the essence of quality is built on the fulfillment of customer needs and expectation. In this regard, quality standards must be established on the basis of the market research conducted to provide a more insightful understanding of the customer needs. As a result, ‘conformity’ to the market needs accurately and in more reliable and sustainable manner comprises of quality management in an organizational context. Since customer preferences vary from individual or group to another, quality can be considered as a subjective concept.
In order to build sustainable relationships between business organizations and their clients, it is imperative to introduce quality management programs. In most cases, quality standards must meet legal requirements as stipulated by the external environment of businesses. Since customer needs and preferences are typically higher than legal ones (Tellis & Johnson, 2007), quality standards established by the legal authorities can be considered as the bottom-line measurements of quality. On this basis, quality management focuses on the conformance and the extent at which behaviors conforms to firm’s controls and procedures (Brady and Cronin, 2001). Essentially, organizational quality controls are fundamentally considered to be originating from the market needs and the existing legal standards established by authorities. Due to the shifting/dynamic nature of the consumer needs today, flexibility in quality control systems/programs is necessary in order to enhance sustainable conform...
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