Gehaltekringe : 'n diagnostiese ondersoek
Cilliers, Jan Abraham
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Quality circles were implemented in the early eighties as a measure to try and strengthen the South African economy, which found itself being assaulted by difficulties from all directions. Quality circles' successes as well as failures are reported by writers, but few instruments are available with which the achievement of a quality circle programme can be objectively predicted and measured. At the moment achievement is based on one dimensional criteria such as cost savings. Quality circles are also based on known behavioral scientific principles, yet it seems that little is being done in training to improve the skills needed in behavioral science, while training in technical skiils is given priority. The fact that no research exists on the basic principles of a quality circle, and ignorance is probably the reason why a great deal of time and money is spent on training those involved, in aspects that do not play an important role in the achievement of quality circles. In this research there are ·five literature aims as well as five empirical aims: 1.1 Literature Aims: 1 To do a literature study of the development of quality circles. 2 To do a literature study of the principles, functioning and scope of quality circles. 3 To do a literature study of the criteria used for the measuring of the success of a quality circle programme. 4 To do a literature study of the diagnostic criteria used for the prediction of the success of a quality circle programme and the identifying of the reasons for failure as seen during reflection. 5 To discuss the link between interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships and the quality circle. 1.2 Empirical aims: 1 To develop an instrument to measure the achievement of a quality circle programme. 2 To develop a diagnostic instrument to predict the succes of a quality circle programme and to diagnose the reasons for failure. 3 To use the developed measuring instrument to ascertain the achievement of the quality circle programme in concern. 4 To make a diagnostic research of a quality circle programme using the developed measuring instrument. 5 To find the effect of intrapersonal and interpersonal growth stimulation on the achievement of the quality circle. 2 METHODOLOGY - 2.1 The concern The concern used for the empirical investigation is a local government with a number of workers totaling 22500. Quality circles have been implemented in seven departments. Each department has its own steering committee consisting of the middle management of each department. As a result of these separate systems a co-ordinator was appointed to co-ordinate the programme as a whole. One facilitator was appointed for each department to do the facilitating and co-ordinating for the department. Circle leaders report directly to the divisional line manager. At the moment there are 30 functioning circles in the concern. Based on a positive savings to cost ratio, the quality circle programme is described as successful at conferences and in publications. 2.2 Literature Section In order to reach the first specific literature aim, chapter two gives a review of the development of quality circles. In order to reach the second specific literature aim, chapter two describes quality circles and investigates the principles, functioning and scope of quality circles. In order to reach the third specific literature aim, chapter three identifies criteria against which the success of the quality circle programme can be projected to form a basis for the development of an instrument for the measurement of success. In order to reach the fourth specific literature aim, chapter three identifies diagnostic criteria. Prediction of success and the identification of failures of a quality circle programme are also described. This discussion serves as the basis for the development of a diagnostic instrument. In order to reach the fifth literature aim, chapter four discusses the link between interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships and quality circles. 2.3 Empirical section Three groups of respondents were used for the purpose of this investigation. With the help of an instrument that calculates the achievement of the quality circle programme, group A was used to monitor the success of the control and experimental quality circles on the grounds of the intervention. The group was formed by a facilitator, line managers and steering committee members all of whom have enough knowledge of the achievement of circles concerned, to be able to evaluate it meaningfully. Group B was used to complete the diagnostic instrument directed at the management. This group was also formed by line managers, facilitators, steering committee members and a co-ordinator. Group C consisted of three experimental and three control circles and completed the diagnostic instruments directed at individual quality circles and management, as well as the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI) and the Structured-Objective Rorschach Test (SORT). In order to reach the first specific empirical aim the development of an instrument is described in chapter five. This instrument is used to measure the achievement of a quality circle programme. The instrument has as its aim the integration of aims of quality circles as well as the measuring of the impact of quality circles with the help of existing criteria. In order to reach the second specific empirical aim a diagnostic instrument was developed in chapter five to predict the success of a quality circle programme as well as to diagnose the reasons for failure. This instrument is divided into two separate measuring instrument sections. They are an instrument section for measurement that has to be completed by a consultant or line manager and an instrument section for measurement that has to be completed by the circle members. In order to reach the third specific empirical aim the instrument for measuring of the achievement of the quality circle programme was completed before intervention was carried out, by all the members of group A, namely eleven line managers, two facilitators, a co-ordinator and a member of one of the steering committees.This was aimed at all six quality circles participating in the research. To reach the fourth specific empirical aim the diagnostic instrument directed at line management was completed, before intervention, by all the members of group B. This group was formed by eight line managers, six facilitators, one co-ordinator and a member of a steering committee. The diagnostic instrument aimed at individual quality circles was completed only once by members of group C and this was before intervention was carried out. This group was formed by 28 circle members from 6 quality circles. To reach the fifth specific empirical aim an industrial phsychologist carried out an intervention on the three experimental circles. This took place over a two day period and the aim was to stimulate interpersonal and intrapersonal growth. After three months the same instrument used for the measuring of achievement in a quality circle programme was used to test group A again. The diagnostic instrument aimed at individual quality circles was also used again three months after intervention on group C. Both the POI and the SORT were used before intervention, just after intervention and again three months later. The following hypothesis was drawn up for this section Hl : There will be no significant change between the POI values of the experimental circles and the control circles as far as the tests before and after intervention and the tests before and three months after intervention are concerned. H2 : There will be no significant change between the SORT values of the experimental circles and the control circles as far as the test before and after intervention and the tests before and three months after intervention are concerned. H3 : There will be no significant positive change between the achievement of the experimental circles and the control circles as measured in the test before intervention and the test three months after intervention. H4 : There will be no significant positive change in the diagnostic criteria concerning the control circles between the test before intervention and the test three months after intervention. 3 RESULTS - 1 The achievement of the group was measured and the programme can be considered to be a success. 2 Certain symptoms pointing to decline in the programme were identified. The most important of these symptoms are the following: * Workers lack the need to want to participate in quality circles * Low moral of the workers * Workers do not believe that quality circles are applicable to them * Workers do not believe that the management takes quality circles seriously * Too few volunteers come forward to take part in the programme * Circle leaders have no say on the steering committees * No central steering committee exists to give the programme direction * There is a progressive disintegration in the number of quality circles * Thirty percent of the total number of circles are non-active * Only 1,48 percent of the potential participants are participating in the quality circle programme It would thus be naive to ignore these symptoms and to come to the conclusion that the programme is a success. The present success of the programme can be attributed to the excellent service of the co-ordinator, facilitator and circle leaders. Serious attention will have to be given to quite a few facets if the survival of the programme over the long term is desired. 3 The POI measured successful growth stimulation within the experimental circles, but no significant results could be obtained by the SORT. The following elements did show long term growth : Scores that measure the scale existentialism showed a significant positive change. The ability of the respondents to act in accordance with the situation is higher. The spontaneity of the experimental group also showed a significant positive change. As a result the ability of the respondent to embody emotions spontaneously into action also increased. The capacity for intimate contact also result the ability of the showed a significant change. As a respondent to form meaningful intimate relationships, with others without expectations and obligations, have improved. If the above mentioned results are taken into consideration hypothesis Hl can be discarded regarding subscale existentialism, spontaneity and the capacity for intimate contact. On the other hand, hypothesis H2 can not be discarded, because although significant positive change took place in the experimental circles' SORT values between the test before intervention and the test after intervention, no change took place between the test before intervention and the test three months later. 4 Achievement of the experimental circles did however increase significantly in regard with that of the control circles between the test before intervention and the test three months later. Significant positive changes taking place in the experimental circles can be summarized as follows: * The working effectivity of the circles increased * Presentations and recommendations of the circles are more accurate * Fewer mistakes were made by circles with the result that fewer projects had to be redone * Less scrap was produced * Fewer delays and occumulations took place * Fewer complaints were received from clients concerning the service of the circle * The quality of service of the circles improved * Circle members were absent from work less often * Circle members accepted responsibility more readily * The usage of circle members increased * Circle members' confidence in the concern improved As a result hypothesis H3 can be discarded as far as these positive innovations are concerned. 5 Symptomathology as changed significantly in control circle between test three months later. measured by the experimental regard to symptomathology the test before intervention The symptoms are as follows: circles of the and the * Circle members find that they are more honest towards each other * The relationships in the circle amicable became significantly * Circle members prepare better for circle meetings * Circle members associate better with circle aims * The diligence of circle members has improved * Meetings are more purposeful * Circle leaders do not allow any projects outside the circle's field of knowledge Hypothesis H4 can be discarded as a result of the above. 4 CONCLUSION - Although the developed instruments were not conclusive it seems to be fair to use these instruments for validating and furthering research. The instruments did not produce any noticeable illogical results from the same test groups. It is probable that the instruments can be used advantageously in any producing or non-producing concern. It seems that interpersonal and intrapersonal growth stimulation is a technique that can be used to better the achievement of quality circles.