Determination of quality is linked to human psychology and choices and it also shapes customer loyalty - GulfToday

Determination of quality is linked to human psychology and choices and it also shapes customer loyalty

DC Pathak

The writer is a former director of the Intelligence Bureau in India.

The writer is a former director of the Intelligence Bureau in India.


Warren Christopher.

All viable concepts tend to extend their areas of application by bringing in the human society at large in their purview. Pareto’s thesis that ‘there are a significant few among the insignificant many’, Einstein’s precept that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’, or Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s stipulation that ‘national security is inseparable from economic security’ are some of the lasting ideas — originating from a sociologist, a scientist and a politician in these cases — that remain relevant because of their connectivity with life itself.

American Society for Quality (ASQ), the non-governmental, non-profit organisation which has emerged as the thought leader in the area of quality management — more specifically on the totality of features of a product or service that would give better satisfaction to the consumers — has also focused on new organisational aspects of productivity such as the psychological dimension of employer-employee relationship and got drawn into some deeper questions of quality of life itself.

It has, for instance, examined issues like ‘parenting’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘welfare’ and widened the scope of application of ‘quality’ in different spheres of human endeavour. Three developments of global importance have compelled this sublimation of the idea of quality.

First is the fact of the transition of the world to the Age of Information consequent on the advent of the IT revolution in 1991 that made it mandatory for any person to be ‘well-informed’ to move forward in any walk of life.

This is because knowledge-based decision making was the anchor of success in any sphere. Information became a determinant of competitive advantage in putting out a product or service since the knowledge of what the business rival was offering and what the well-informed customer was expecting, was crucial.

Study of the business environment, including the law and order situation, supply chain and social media trends influencing the demand, has become essential for planning — this is part of the ongoing business intelligence that the enterprise has to have for its success.

No doubt, data and data analytics are now a requirement of the process of decision-making with regard to product development and launch of a service. In ultimate analysis, information is at the base of quality control now.

The Age of Information has also brought out the importance of the organisation garnering internally available information — and not forgetting the dictum that ‘nobody knows everything but everybody knows something’ — not only about the firm’s own products and services, but also about the business environment outside as well.

The second factor that again can be regarded as a new-age phenomenon is the realisation that all business is ‘human activity’ and that the individual is at the centre of all productivity, notwithstanding the induction of technology in all aspects of it — from automation to social media marketing (SMM).

Determination of quality is linked to human psychology and choices and it also shapes customer loyalty. The post-Covid scenario has given a new-found importance to quality -- people returning to the market are impatient on the question of quality and prone to rejecting permanently any product that seems flawed. Businesses therefore would do well to try to be ahead of others in quality even if it means scaling down on profits a little.

In the area of senior-subordinate relations, the corporate entity certainly requires ‘bosses’ to understand their men and show enough emotional intelligence to read the pressures working on the employee outside of the workplace. They have to become ‘nurturing’ guides.

Both quality and quantum of ‘productivity’ have some proportionality with the ‘concentration’ that a stress-free member would be able to bear on his or her work. Human resource development functions in all enterprises and establishments have assumed a new-found importance and become a far more challenging assignment now .

The third dimension of Quality Control Management is what should be regarded as work in progress -- the increasing assimilation of ‘quality’ in the lifestyle and thinking processes of people in the present times.

The rich may remain preoccupied in opting for what was exclusive and niche for consumption, but it is also a fact that people with broader awareness are looking for quality in whatever they are mandated to do — from the responsibility of bringing up children to seeking better mental and even spiritual satisfaction out of their work.

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