This article assesses the current state of U.S. total quality management based on the author's experience evaluating 22 companies as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award during the last four years. The companies that apply for the award have many important strengths and these are yielding substantial improvement in customer satisfaction, employee involvement, and operational results. They also, however, have many identifiable areas which need improvement. A number of factors are limiting the development of truly comprehensive and fully integrated quality management systems.
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