Juhani Anttila
Venture Knowledgist Quality Integration
Helsinki, Finland




Business environments and whole societies have changed radically during the recent years. This has resulted a gap of relevance between the prevailing quality management approaches and the practical business realities. Quality profession is in a modern crisis due to the change from the certainty and predictability to the situation of uncertainty and ambiguity. Innovations provide opportunities for a decisive transition out of the crisis in order to strive in organizations for performance excellence and sustained success. All organizations operate today in networked business environments. That means that also the professional quality concepts, principles, and practical means must be reconsidered for networked businesses. Information, knowledge, and continuous learning are in the focal interest in today’s quality management, and they may be effectively supported by the modern information/interactive technology (IT). The scope of the quality profession should be seen broader than earlier. Integration, responsiveness, innovation, and collaboration are the keys that give unlimited opportunities for innovations for the new generation of the quality profession.


Development of quality management (QM) is a temporal affair – a process in time and scope. Historical backgrounds, business branch and organizational business environments, and individual’s mind-sets have always strong influence on what are the emphases in practice and how QM is applied, and what is done for its future development.
Today quality profession is in a crisis because it has not been able to adapt for today’s rapidly changing business realities and requirements. Quality profession has developed evolutionarily but business situations and requirements exponentially. There are big challenges for innovations in QM and quality assurance (QA) and in the whole quality profession. A particular problem is in the international standardization and in the application of various standards for management systems.
Innovations provide opportunities for a decisive transition out of the crisis in order to strive in organizations for performance excellence and sustained success. However, one should take seriously the necessary prerequisites for this process. That includes understanding and appreciation of today’s business realities and imperatives and integrating all QM items seamlessly with the activities of business management system [10]. An organization should be understood as a business system and its management holistically. In fact, for achieving business effectiveness and efficiency there should be one and only one management system in an organization; there should be only one way of governing an organization, not many different ways of the specialized management responsibilities. In this one management system, we are supposed to fit in the elements of quality, environment, social responsibility, information security, etc. [23]
Today all organizations operate within a global community. Therefore also organizations in their quality approaches and quality experts in their efforts should be able to function collaboratively in networks, and they should consider for their benefits even global stretched challenges. Here relevant information, knowledge, and continuous learning are in the focal interest and they may be effectively supported by the modern information/interactive technology (IT). All this gives unlimited opportunities for innovations for the new generation of the quality profession. We are just in the starting point of this development.

Creative development of quality management in time and scope

Development of the professional quality thinking and application takes place at different extent and scope including:
- Individuals and groups
- Organizations
- Local, regional and global business communities and sectors      
- Societies at large
It is very difficult to get out of the organization’s, business branch’s, or society’s old even bad culture of quality; it requires a decisive and consistent management  and a bit of courage.
Organizations’ business reality is only the ‘Now’ of the present events and performance. We may think about three temporal dimensions within the present moment “Now”. In addition to the present “Now” we have the ‘Now’ of past events and performance. Then we have the ‘Now’ of the challenges for the future events.
Simultaneously with this physical and linear time-entity, the  Chronos-time, we should also understand the Kairos-time, the challenge of the present moment, that is a non-linear time-entity where human reality and unlimited creative omnipotentials meet [32]. Kairos-time is like a hyperlink to jump to something completely new. That is just related to innovations. There are already available training courses for business leaders on the possibilities of Kairos.
In order to consider innovations for QM we should make clear what are innovations about and what is QM about. According to the standard vocabulary of the ISO 9000 [27], QM means the degree to which coordinated activities by the management of an organization to direct and control the organization fulfill the needs and expectations of the organization’s all stakeholders. In simple and practical words this means that QM equals quality of management.
In the creative development of QM one should consider what is to be done and how. If we only have old “Whats” and old “Hows” we have no innovation. Innovation means that we create something new. From organization’s performance point of view, “How” is more important than “What”.
Modern business circumstances require continuously innovations and rapid realization of innovation results in all management areas. This is also a natural requirement for QM.

Crisis in quality management and quality profession

Deming introduced already in the 1980’s very influential thoughts about crisis in the quality implementations [18]. He talked about the seven deadly diseases, the fourteen points, and obstacles. His focus was on organizations’ management and leadership. Many of Deming’s aspects are very relevant still today but now we have also other significant aspects in the modern crisis of quality profession in its entirety.
Business environments and society have changed radically during the recent years. This has resulted a gap of relevance between the prevailing QM concepts and implementations and the practical business realities and imperatives. The reason is the lack of innovations in the QM principles, tools, and infrastructures. One may ask, are there any new innovations created for organizations' quality implementations after Ichikawa, Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum. Is the quality profession not really able to follow the general development of organizations' business development and trends of the society at large? Is it only according to a well-known French saying "Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose “ (The more change, the more the same thing)?
In orienting to business crises we should understand that a crisis is a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of future events and performance is determined. It may mean improvement, keeping status quo, or deterioration [2]. The word crisis originates from Greek krísis meaning decision. One type of decision is also if one leaves undone a decision. Crisis is a turning point leading to a decisive transformation. Crises are always in human minds not in organizations. In fact, crises are very crucial in order to get a real development taken place. For example, Juran said that there is no real development in organizations without business crises.

Changed business environments and stretched challenges

The modern crisis of QM originate in the situation where we have moved from the certainty and predictability to the situation of uncertainty and ambiguity. This includes the following significant aspects that have strong impacts to the business management and also to the QM:
- Emergence and self-organizing networks of business actors
- Many heterogeneous global actors in virtual networks
- All are linked with everything else, all linkages not known
- Paradox freedom of the actors (”both-and” instead of ”either-or”)
- Significance of immaterial issues (information, knowledge, services)
- Informal learning and serendipity
- Increased speed of activities and change
- Significance of transaction phenomena and the cost of transactions
- Complex responsive processes of relating 
- Simultaneous agility and maturity requirements
- Immense pressure / stress of business leaders [12]
Additionally today we also continually confront impacts of the highly improbable (“The Black Swan “ phenomena [43]).
We performed a study for the ISO 9000 standardization by collecting information from many different organizations and different countries on the role and importance of time, speed and agility and related aspects in organization's business [21, 28]. For example, we considered in our questionnaire the following statements:
- There are in the organization's business environment quick changes and fluctuation  that  are necessary to be responded by the organization.
- Time, speed and agility aspects and fulfilling timeliness requirements are critical in the organization business success.
- The organization has awareness and learning programs that address time, speed and agility aspects.
For the two first statements we got very strong agreements from the respondents that they were very relevant and also important in their business. However, their opinion was that there were very little guidance or information for these aspects in the recognized QM references including the ISO 9000 standards and performance excellence models. Regarding the third statement the respondents had done nothing for this topic and they even didn’t consider it important for their business.
We considered in our questionnaire also other related aspects including complexity, networking, information and knowledge, and  innovation, and we got very similar results.
The fifth Futures Study of the American Society for Quality in 2008 [14] cleared up forces that most likely shape the future of quality in powerful and forceful ways. The result consists of the following most important issues:
- Globalization
- Social responsibility
- New dimensions for quality
- Aging population
- Healthcare
- Environmental concern
- 21st century technology

They summarized the results with a statements of  “No boundaries – The old boundaries have been obliterated”. They also defined the preferred scenario for the future: “Global adaptation: Evolution toward a synergistic society”. This should be taken into account when creating implications to quality concept, organizations, and the quality profession as a whole.
All these observations mean serious requirements in the innovation for QM. Particularly the scope of the quality expertise and profession should be seen broader than earlier. Factually this line has been followed slowly even in the QM standardization. In the first ISO 9000 standards we used the concept quality system (1987); in the first revision of the standards we already emphasized the business approach with the concept quality management system (2000); in the last meeting of the standardization committee ISO/TC 176 we started to use a much broader concept of ecosystem (2010). However, many organizations don’t understand the need for development, and they are still building their quality systems.
A very big and acute question to the quality people is that are we already ready as the global community of quality professionals to serve for the major global challenges. What is our relevance in the development of the global society? Could we have remarkable impacts on The United Nations’ endeavors for sustainability and responsible business practices?
- To align business operations and strategies with principles that lead to improved partnerships for combating corruption, safeguarding the environment, and ensuring social inclusion
- To provide for capacity developments through which individuals, organizations, and societies obtain, strengthen, and maintain the capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives over time
- To perform a change process or transformation which necessitates investment in skills and knowledge to strengthen the abilities, networks, skills and knowledge
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations consist of:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- A global partnership for development

Innovations in quality management concepts and principles

Practical QM cornerstones lie in the guiding ideas, concepts, and principles, management tools, and management infrastructure [38, 10]. We should consider innovations in these areas including what should be done and how that should be done in order to strive in organizations for performance excellence and sustained success.  
In addition to the mentioned cornerstones-issues, an organization should also always take into account the existing business environments and conditions, the given “Implicate Order” [38].
A starting point for innovating guiding ideas and principles is to consider the existing recognized and even standardized good management principles. An important reference is the ISO 9000 list of quality management principles [26]:
- Customer focus
- Leadership
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continual improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
Revision of these principles is just now under consideration in the committee ISO/TC 176. Therefore organizations should be interested in what is coming out from this committee in the near future.
Other important references are the definitions of the performance excellence models. The European model of EFQM has defines the following fundamental concepts of excellence [20]:
- Achieving balanced results
- Adding value for customers
- Leading with vision, inspiration & integrity
- Managing by processes
- Succeeding through people
- Nurturing creativity & innovation
- Building partnerships
- Taking responsibility for a sustainable future
Correspondingly Malcolm Baldrige has the following core values and concepts [34]:
- Visionary leadership
- Customer-driven excellence
- Organizational and personal learning
- Valuing employees and partners
- Agility
- Focus on the future
- Managing for innovation
- Management by fact
- Social responsibility
- Focus on results and creating value
- Systems perspective
These are good references but each organization should, however, define good management principles from the organization’s own business point of view. The general principles may help the organization in its task. We have an example. A company thought own QM principles as a suitable starting point for their QM development. At first they made clear what is the meaning of a quality management principle as follows:
- A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
- QM was understood according to the ISO 9000 standard as coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to quality. Therefore QM equals quality of management that aims at business excellence.
After this conceptual consideration they started innovate by brainstorming their own fundamental principles for managing the company towards performance excellence. They took all elements from the principles of ISO 9000, EFQM, and Malcolm Baldrige and took into account their own business-relevant flavorings. They finalized their results by a group-work to the following principles:
- Centering on customers’ needs and expectations
- Envisioning the future challenges
- Valuing employees
- Managing the organization as a system of responsive and agile business processes
- Appreciating multiple means for discovering, collaborating, and learning in order to continually enhance organization’s business performance
- Networking with and valuing partners
- Anticipating timely changes in the needs and expectations of the market and society

Innovative challenges for the management related standards

In standardization we have different standardization organizations and groups (de jure or de facto) for different subject areas. The essence of the standardization is the consensus process. Practical realization of the standards takes place at users’ business reality in different organizations. Standards should be used according to the organizations business needs and to strive for excellent business performance. For that organizations need to use an innovation process.
There are significant inadequacies, inconsistencies and other problems in the general international standardization and standards mainly due to the normal standardization processes. It is not expected that very significant improvements or major operational changes in the international standardization could take place in the next several years. Therefore, individual organizations applying the standards should highlight their own responsibility of business leaders and experts in order to achieve the benefits. Greater awareness and knowledge, and innovation and the courage is required among business leaders and experts to make useful solutions for applying the standards. Fortunately, there is nothing in the standards to prevent this but even invite to do it. There are no restrictions to use general standards (e.g. ISO 9000) in an innovative way and to strive for excellence in business performance. It depends only on organizations’ business leaders’ and experts’ will and ability to differentiate from the others of the crowd. The biggest obstacles  that blocks our way or prevents or hinders progress are our existing habits, misperceptions, and prejudgments that are hard to give up.
According to Schein, there are intrapsychic phenomena that impact harmfully to the events in the managing process, including:
- Expectations and prejudgments that influence by misperception to the observations (sensation, perception, and description)
- Expectations and prejudgments that influence by inappropriate emotional response to the reactions
- Rational analysis based on incorrect data that influence to the judgments (cognition, analysis, and evaluation)
- Intervention (volition, decision, and action) based on incorrect data
One should learn to distinguish inside oneself observations, reactions, judgments and impulses to act (intervene) and identify biases in how you handle each of these processes.
There are a lot of examples where we can find possibilities for innovative ways to apply general QM standards.
PDCA (Planning – Doing – Checking – Acting) model is used in many management related standards. Although the standards explicitly refer to the PDCA model, however, the model is applied in the standards rather unsystematically, inexplicitly, and poorly for the purposes of QM. However, we may find ideas for a more creative use of the PDCA model by other recognized literature. We could recognize three different application areas for the PDCA model. We may call that as a “triple PDCA” as a model for the holistic management [44, 39, 30]. The triple PDCA model consists of three areas:
- Rational control (operational)
- Continual rational small step improvement (operational), the “Kaizen” approach
- Innovative breakthrough changes (strategic)
Items 2 and 3 may be understood also as single-loop and double-loop learning [13].
Quality Assurance (QA) is an important area of QM and the ISO 9000 standardization [27]. As a concept, QA means how to create and strenghten confidence among customers and other stakeholders. Confidence is a broad concept including:
- Confidence in fulfilling product (goods and service) requirements:
- structural and functional features
- dependability performance
- safety and security performance
- ethical performance
- Confidence in the producer as whole, e.g. its leadership
- overall quality policy
- future certainty
The QA standard ISO 9001 and third party certifications are very poor and ineffective means for the real QA. We should change our minds to change from QA requirements to QA services. Service is the result of a process, at least one activity necessarily performed at the interface between the supplier and customer, and it is generally intangible. The QA service may be realized in an excellent and competitive way and not only as fulfilling some minimum requirements. Process management approach with customer-empathy gives a professional basis for confidence. QA implies preparation for positive customer-feedbacks.
QA may be based on ISO 9001 standard model or tailored according to the specific needs of the situation. QA service may include also a QA plan/agreement. QA is a communication issue between an organization and its stakeholders. In order to get effective and efficient communication we should apply modern communication means, especially the internet and social media even for QA communications. There are a lot of possibilities for innovative and multifarious solutions for QA (e.g. “e-Certificate”). Today we have a high customer’s differentiation and in the organizations we should enhance organization’s capabilities including production and logistics flexibility and communications flexibility to fulfill customer’s needs and create customer’s value [37]. That is also a challenge for the QA.
All business results - including quality - are achieved through managing business processes and projects [7]. Basic (or core or key - different terms are used in different organizations) business processes imply continuously running interlinked business activities, and projects are singular processes for unique business tasks. Both strategic and operational management levels are involved in the process approach, the strategic one focusing on managing the network of inter-linked business processes (i.e. the whole business system) and the operational one on managing single processes and projects.
Process management is strongly emphasized in the management system standards but that is made very superficially that does not support effectively established business practices. One may find a lot of innovative solutions – not from the standards but from the voluminous literature – also for the process management clauses of the standards.
In organizations there are often competition or even conflicts of needs and expectations from different specialized management areas including:
- Finance management
- Quality management
- Risk management
- Human resource management
- Information/knowledge management
- Environmental management
- Information security management
- Occupational health and safety management
- Issue X management

It is typical that conflicts take place at two levels:
- At strategic level in general manager’s commitment
- At operational level in the activities of business processes

One example is the conflict between QM and knowledge management (KM). Organization’s Vice President Quality may think that KM is a part of KM, and organization’s Chief Knowledge Officer on the contrary that QM is a part of KM. However in practice both QM and KM cover the whole business management (BM). Additionally QM is needed for KM, and KM is needed for QM.
Very often distinct management system standards have promoted the isolation of the different specialized management approaches. Business-integration is the solution to the inefficiency and conflicts. Business-integration means that all specialized management items are seamlessly embedded within the activities of the business management system [10].
Business-integration, however, requires strong and decisive general business management responsibilities and an effective business management system. This integration has also been under consideration in the ISO management systems standardization (MSS). For example, the Joint Technical Co-ordination Group (JTCG) has created a common structure and text for all management system requirements standards to support business integration [29]. That structure is based on business management elements and actions and all the specialized standardization committees, e.g. ISO TC 176 (Quality management), must arrange all their special aspects according to this structure. This line should be followed also in organizations applying these standards.

Impact of networking on the business-integrated quality approach

All organizations operate today in networked business environments [1, 8, 9]. That means that also the professional quality concepts, principles, and practical means must be reconsidered in the networked business environments. Typically business environments consist of the following business issues:
- Organization structures
- Business environments
- Interested parties (stakeholders)
- Business targets and performance
- Management and leadership
- Technology
- Products (goods and services)
- Business processes
- Work, “employeeship”
- Custom, customers
- Company culture
All these aspect have changed radically from traditional to networked business environments. When the professional QM is strongly related to the business management aspects that means that also all QM issues bust be understood in a completely new way in the networked business. That has impacts, for instance, on the following very essential QM concepts and elements:
- QM principles
- QM and QA concepts
- QM frameworks, especially ISO 9000 standards and business excellence models
- Quality methodology
- Quality expertise
Organizations operate in business communities that consist of companies and other organizations (public, non-profit) and also individuals, e.g. experts. Genuine business networks are primarily unplanned, emergent aggregations. Their growth is sporadic and self-organizing. Networks may not be managed in a traditional way like organizations because they are not any single systems but entities that consist of a lot of independent organizational systems. That means that networks may not have shared values, strategies, policies, etc. The network as a whole is managed by nobody but each network-member has its own characteristic impact in the network [31]:
- Access = actor’s easiness getting to the resources of the network
- Reach = actor’s potential wielding influence in the network
- Control = actor’s ability to control over the resources of the network
Quality of a network is based on multiple win/win situation between network members. Quality of a network “v”, Qvm , may still be defined according to the ISO 9000 standard definition: “Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of the network fulfils needs and expectations of the involved network members”. If the number of members in the network is m, and each member gets something useful (Si) from the other network members but also loses something (Ai) of its own, the quality of the network may be calculated according to the formula in the following figure:
This formula also proves the Metcalfe’s Law: A network increases in value as the square of the number of its users.
Business partners are linked with each others in networks via business processes. Relationship processes are extremely difficult to be managed because of their complexity. According to Stacey [40], activities within “complex responsive processes of relating” may be considered from the agreement and certainty points of view. This kind of processes may only partly be managed by the traditional way by using standards, guidance documents, and monitoring.
In the modern business processes there are also activities where different kinds of experimenting or political control and compromises are in practice. Innovation is related to so called “Zone of Complexity”, where the level of agreement and certainty are quite low and creativity, debate, serendipity, trial & error happens.
These all kinds of situations may exist in all networking processes. These networks of the relating processes may also have elements of chaos or anarchy and be linked with some unknown or even hostile processes.  
Complex responsive processes of relating are extremely difficult from the rational management’s point of view. Some possibilities may be opened by the following aspects [33]:
- Recognizing the identity of the networking actor(s). The set of characteristics by which an item is clearly recognizable include the process, its activities and automatic actors, and persons involved
- Understanding the relationship of the actors: Level of agreement, degree of certainty, authoritative power incorporated, and the level of mutual win/win situation
- Knowing the communication possibilities between/among the actors: Open, restricted, closed, or fuzzy
If the relationship processes are not clearly identified, the situation falls into pieces of interacting process-internal actors (activities or persons), and even may develop towards a strong chaos or anarchy.

Quality management as the management of business information/knowledge and learning

Information and knowledge are crucial issues for QM [4, 5, 6, ]. Information is the basic building block of the good business management and the modern society at large:
- The performance of all kinds of organizations depends on useful information and knowledge at the right time and using it to manage and improve their business.
- Competitiveness and success of the organizations is based on right business related information on time.
Deming [19] expressed that the profound knowledge of the company’s total operations in its business environment, of the actors involved, of how things fluctuate, and of changes and developments is the requirement for doing business successfully. Without this even the day-to-day operations of the company will be disrupted. He understood that information is not knowledge. Knowledge comes from theory. Without theory, there is no way to use information that comes to us on the instant. Therefore he called for creating profound knowledge for leadership.  
Documentation is today overly-emphasized in QM standards and implementations.
The real challenge to the business management and QM/QA, too, is how to manage with information and knowledge? In fact, this a necessity for all the activities of the “triple PDCA”.
Major portion of the organizational knowledge is tacit that includes conscious thinking, competence, commitment, and deeds, and also the hidden sub-conscious elements of persons. Explicit knowledge that consists data, information, documents, records, and files may represent only some 5% or less of the whole relevant business knowledge.
Empirical fact-based information is needed for the successful management. The performance reality of the company’s business processes consists of many different types of facts. Through measuring business phenomena we can get data. Analyzing data we get contextually significant information that is a basis for reflecting the situation and making decisions for plans and acts for interventions in order to get controlling and improving effects to the business processes.
However, the old saying, “You get what you measure”, that is used in many contexts all over the world, and it has influenced on reinforcing interests in measurements is not necessarily correct [11]. No measurements can be objective but they are always affected by somebody. What is being measured, by what kinds of means or methodology, what is obtained through measurements, and how the results of measurements are understood – they all depend on the intention and awareness of somebody. Therefore it is essential to get business leaders’ existing knowledge consisting of explicit records and tacit knowledge (know-how, competence) and even wisdom (myths and values) effectively and transparently combined with the measurements-based information.
Enhancing the knowledge of the business leaders and experts in organizations takes place through learning. However, the formal training and education is not enough for this. According to Cross [17] formal training practices represent only 20% of the real learning, and the informal learning is the other 80%. "The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people and not in classrooms." (Handy) ”Cappuccino U is a metaphor for a new approach to learning based on community, networking, self-study, distance education, and technology. The Third Place, the coffee shop where people gather to work and chat, we can transpose it to libraries, hotels, and other locations (including our homes) where we might work and meet with other people, or may be alone in a crowd – or just alone.” (Cross) ”The 3rd place hosts the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work.” (Oldenburg) [17] Learning is most important feature of networking.
In order to get out of our old and wrong expectations and prejudgments we may need according to Illich  “deschooling” [24]. In order to facilitate that he created the concept conviviality [25] that is “to designate the autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man-made environment. It is individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value. As conviviality is reduced below a certain level, no amount of industrial productivity can effectively satisfy the needs among society's members.”
Leadership language has an important role in organizations [42]. An organization is a living organism. It is a set of conversations among people. Language is the defining environment in which an organization lives. It is how those in the system reach agreement. Language is a medium for organizational growth and change. Narrowing language increases efficiency. A common shared language helps the organization arrive at decisions more efficiently. However, narrowing language increases ignorance. Constrained by a limited vocabulary, the organization becomes unable to adapt to fundamental changes in its environment. Unable to change, the organization eventually declines. Ignorant of our own ignorance, we cannot ask questions outside our own language experience. It is possible for an organization to learn and grow only if it creates conditions that help generate new language. Using new language, an organization may create new paths to productivity, and regenerate itself.
The conversations that are necessary for generating new opportunities come from outside the system, from the language that has a different history. This is often technically and intellectually demanding and, consequently, often dismissed.
Nonaka [35] created the concept ”Ba” for an environment where people may as individuals and also as a community learn effectively from each other. The effect of the “Ba” is based on the knowledge-conversion process changing tacit knowledge of the participating people to explicit and on the contrary. This process consists of  SECI activities: Socialization (S), Externalization (E), Combination (C), and Internalization (I).

IT support for the quality management

Information technology is for supporting communication and the exchange of information [16]. However all the results have not been satisfactory. For instance: 
- E-Mailing may be good for in one-to-one communication but it is ineffective in group communication
- Intranet domains (web pages) are difficult to use and maintain and ineffective in use for communication. They become easily passive and stagnant.
- Phone communications and text messages (SMS) may be good for acute one-to-one communication but are often disturbing and expensive.
- Physical meetings are occasionally necessary for networking but they are expensive, time consuming, and difficult to arrange
- Publications are passive and expensive, and it is difficult to know what is available and where.
What we need is to enhance effectiveness and transparency in a group or network communication. According to Gloor [22] learning process is sped up and made more effective through participation in collaborative networks by increasing:
- Degree of connectivity among the members
- Degree of interactivity between the members
- Degree of sharing knowledge among the members
New IT (Interactive Technology) is particularly to support information/knowledge-intensive business operations. There are two major approaches to new integrated and effective solutions:
- Portal solutions [16] are based on a top-down approach and “sustaining technology” (“Intel inside”). Portal solutions are typically complicated, difficult to use and maintain, and expensive.
- Social media (Web 2.0) solutions are based on a bottom-up approach (“Human inside”) and  “disruptive technology” These solutions are typically simple, easy to use, and cheap or free of charge (open source). [36]
Usage of the social media promotes the effectiveness and efficiency of management and innovativeness for development. Social media has unlimited possibilities for the QM and QA innovations.
Social media technology aims at social interactions and turning communication into interactive dialogues according to the SECI process. Open and public applications that have become enormous popular include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, etc. These services provide also solutions for organization-/ group-/context-dedicated applications.
Cloud computing is a new promising Internet-based provision of shared resources, software and information provided to computers and other devices on-demand, “computing on tap”. You pay for what you consume. SaaS (software as a service) means that a complete software application is offered as a service, on-demand [41]. A single instance of the software runs on the provider’s infrastructure and serves multiple client organizations.
In the social media there are many open and closed public discussion-groups for QA and QA in the LinkedIn and the Facebook. Quality experts are particularly actively involved in the LinkedIn.
Organization-dedicated QM and QA social media applications are rather exceptional. However, challenges are unlimited. For instance, a SaaS application may be effectively and easily created and used for an organization-dedicated solution for QM and QA. In fact, this kind of application is effective to operate as a collaborative knowledge work environment, “KWE”, for many different business management purposes [3]. Members of a KWE include only those persons who are particularly authorized to this activity. The most important tools of a KWE include the following:
- Net-working: Members’ information and professional profiles
- Wiki: Common shared knowledge-base accumulated and updated by the members
- Blog: Knowledge feeds from members (findings, observations, and reflection), and comments            
- Media: Published presentations etc.
Additional features or possibilities include sub-groups, tagging, aggregators (RSS feeding), mashups. There may be also links to other tools (calendar, to-do list,  diary, Skype, virtual meeting room, etc.), social utilities, legacy IT systems of the organization, administration of the IT environment, web pages, and documents.
A KWE is suitable and effective approach to many QM-related applications. Typical cases where the KWE approach has proved useful in practice include:
- Corporate-internal manager and expert groups, e.g. corporate executives, quality managers, product designers, human resource people, and maintenance people
- Project groups
- Process teams
- Organizations' supplier or customer networks
- Benchmarking clubs of different organizations
- Collaborating business-clusters
- Networked SME's, e.g. small cooperating consulting or expert companies
- Networked learning in educational institutes


In the crisis of QM and quality profession there is a need for a large-scale breakthrough change. Starting initiatives should take place in the minds and doings of the quality professionals and in the individual organization’s development activities.
We need a transformation that is a radical discontinuous change. Transformation means change of form, shape or appearance. After Deming the Greek word metanoia may be more suitable than transformation. It means penitence, repentance, reorientation of one’s way of life. Basically it is a spiritual conversion.
Transformations do not happen spontaneously but by decisive actions. In organizations transformations are initiated and managed from the strategic (top management) level of organization. Transition in a crisis typically include the following phases [15]:
- Immobilization and shock - Mismatch between expectations and the reality
- Denial and defensiveness – Retreat into false competence. Denial of need to change
- Incompetence and anger, frustration and confusion  - Awareness that change is necessary but unsure what to do
- Acceptance of the reality - Excitement and at prospect of improved performance. Or in a terrible case sadness letting go to past attitudes, and behavior and as a consequence conflicts, decay, and succumbing.
- Testing and trying new approaches and coping with risk of failure (trepidation)
- Search for a new meaning and curiosity - Trying to understand how and why new behaviors are better.
- A new integration with confidence - New attitudes and behavior became part of behavioral repertoire

From the prerequisites, needs, and practical possibilities considered in this paper we may summarize the most relevant issues for the innovations in QM as follows:
- Integration: Implementing effective / efficient and business-relevant quality principles and methodology embedded within organization’s normal activities of strategic and operational management. Changing emphasis from QM to the quality of management.
- Responsiveness: Being able to adjust quickly to suddenly altered external conditions and to resume stable operation without undue delay, and aiming at dynamic and flexible business management.
- Innovation: Striving continuously for new organization-dedicated innovative solutions and encouraging various choices for QM in different organizations. Emphasizing an organization’s unique approach instead of  a standard approach.
- Collaboration: Communicating and working together with colleagues and appropriate knowledge communities appreciating connectivity, interactivity, and shared knowledge and resources.

One should make a stand for all these aspects by individual quality experts, organizations, nations, regions, as well as globally.


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[This text was presented in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2011 (MEQA 2011)]