Quality as a reflection of innovation? Quality management in the Korean government

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Quality management generally implies all the activities that are intended to bring about the desired level of quality. In order to improve the quality of a product or service in both private and public sectors, quality management has been exercised for a long time and broadly applied in various organizations. As many new buzz words emerge in both business and public management, however, it seems that its popularity has declined. Is quality management dead? Not really. Quality is a fundamental ingredient in innovation so it must not be disregarded, although there might be fluctuations in its popularity. This study reviews the developmental status of quality management in South Korea by looking at its status and conceptual changes from historical and comparative perspectives. Historically, quality management in modern Korea was influenced by Japanese and American practices. In a comparative perspective, however, European influence on quality management was not salient in Korea. Points for practitioners More buzz words or fads will be generated by issue entrepreneurs and business consultants. However, quality management will not fade away. Continuous improvement is an endless open-ended journey, as is quality management. It is fair to say that the need for government reform and innovation will never be exhausted. Therefore, the importance of quality management will be a continuing reality in the future, perhaps with some adjustment of its rhetoric or riding on an irresistible wave of reform for adaptation. Quality has been reflected through innovation, and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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