Proceedings of a Roundtable Discussion on Product Quality--Japan vs. the United States, Tuesday, August 19, 1980

AFMD-81-60: Published: Jun 22, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1981.

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At the request of the Subcommittee on Trade, House Committee on Ways and Means, the General Accounting Office (GAO) began studying Japanese approaches to product quality and comparing them to approaches typically followed by American firms. As part of that effort, a 1-day round table discussion was convened at GAO where 15 well-informed representatives from industry, labor, academia, and Government participated, along with the then Chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade, the Comptroller General of the United States and several congressional staff members. The full day's transcript is contained in this document.

The purpose of the roundtable was to promote discussion on the many aspects of product quality, and to demonstrate the pervasiveness of this term, from the broadest of national economic policy and strategic planning, to the individual company level, down to the shop floor where actual quality goes into a product as ultimately measured in the marketplace. Discussions covered a myriad issues, including: national strategic planning and policy making, marketing strategy, production/product quality standards, and concept of management and employees as partners.