an earlier study conducted by the authors) in order to create a time-line of the development of a company's TQM systems; to determine what key approaches were used, and to assess the actual extent of implementation. Four areas were covered in the interviews: production, customer satisfaction, supplier management, and new product development and design. The results of the analysis confirm many expected patterns in the implementation of TQM: for example, the emphasis in TQM on training and employee involvement is clearly reflected in approaches and programs described in the interviews. Other results are more surprising: for example, there is evidence that of the early gurus of TQM (Philip Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Kaoru Ishikawa, Joseph Juran), Crosby had the most significant effect in the early phases of the quality management movement. His approach fit with U.S. management culture and so could serve as a starting point from which more mature TQM systems could be developed.
As summarized above, Cole explored the history of the adoption of TQM principles in U.S. companies. The paper linked historical conditions with theoretical arguments to explain why U.S. industries were slow in learning about and adopting TQM. Participants pointed out that the academic community was also slow to embrace TQM. Research to date consists primarily of descriptive accounts or qualitative case studies, which either make unsupported claims or do not permit generalization.
Cole also outlined the discontinuity between the old and new quality paradigms in terms of focus and organizational change. In the old paradigm, there is an internal-process orientation that views quality as "conformance to specifications" and sees it as the specialized function of inspectors who monitor performance in order to detect and eliminate defective outputs. By contrast, the new paradigm stresses "market-in" criteria that emphasizes the customer's orientation and sees quality as involving all organizational participants, not simply specialists, and as requiring ''up-stream'' prevention, not last-minute detection.
In linking history to theory, Cole suggested several psychological factors that may have limited the ability for U.S. top management to learn from the Japanese example. They include cognitive challenges—the belief that there was inevitably a cost-quality tradeoff—social psychological