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TitleManagement systems integration: should quality be redefined?
Author(s)Domingues, Pedro
Sampaio, Paulo
Arezes, P.
KeywordsIntegrated management systems
Issue date2011
Abstract(s)Concepts like interfaces, synergies, fuzzy logic, organisational synapses and networking rule our days. These concepts orbit around the term “interactions”. Literally, interactions are everything. For instance, graphite and diamond are just carbon atoms “interacting” differently. Currently, customers demand a broader vision from organizations. In order to fulfil this demand organizations implemented and certified their management systems focusing different stakeholders’ requirements and according to several organisational standards, being the most reported ones ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Despite of the difficulties to achieve a consensual definition, if we consider concepts like quality tools, “Quality” is mainly an “action” concept. Thus, the main challenge faced by quality management systems (QMS) in an integrated environment would be philosophical: to leave the spotlights of an “action” based approach and to embrace the subtleness of the “interaction” approach. It is common sense that the system defining, promoting and stimulating interactions should not be involved in the action itself. Implications of this new role to play by quality management system are huge. Traditional organisational structures place quality transversally to production processes. It is expected that quality management system adopts a more vertical organisational orientation in order to accomplish new objectives posed by management systems integration. Human behaviour towards item production or service performance should change according new organisational placement by QMS. Each worker despite their organisational function should have a priori and a posteriori quality requirements knowledge, being critical a precise boundaries definition among elements constituting the responsibility chain. Auditing procedures should be adjusted too. Potential synergies between processes, internal and external communication flow, objectives redefinition, policies adjustment and a new vision horizon are among some check-points to be assessed by the audit team. It should be assure that top management commitment is not with a system but with an organisational philosophy. Processes indicators should be available at all time and by several persons. This requirement is not far fetch in our days due to the currently available networks and information systems. Non conformity detection, treatment and correction, under an integrated approach, should not be a middle management meeting of the affected process. In this case, quality procedures should assure that Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety representatives are involved and empowered to discuss decisions to be made. In this article we analyze the reposition of the quality management system after an integration process pointing out the practical implications of this newly perspective. It is intended to be an initial contribution to a newly task already achieved by other systems and sciences: the assessment of “interactions” in management systems.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:LES/ALG - Textos completos em actas de encontros científicos internacionais com arbitragem

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