Philip Crosby - Management Guru

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1158 Words
Date:  2021-03-13

June 18, 1926, is the year Philip Crosby was born, in West Virginia, a graduate of Western Reserve University, he serve as a Navy during world War two and died on August 18, 2001 Asheville, North Carolina, he was a businessman and an author who wrote about management theory and quality management practices. The cause of death was due to respiratory failure. He works as a quality consultant, at Martin Company as a quality control manager.( Jackson,2001).

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Quality is free

In 1979, Crosby published his first book Quality is free the book become popular due to the crisis that was happening in North American quality. In the period between the 1970s -1980s, North American producers were losing market share to Japanese due to the superior quality of Japanese products. During North American crisis Crosby respond by the principle of doing it right the first time(DRIFT) he comes up with four principles: definition of quality conformance to requirements, the system of quality prevention, the performance standards is zero defects, and lastly, the measurement of quality is the price of non-conformance.

Guru Crosby theory on Quality Management

The quality that Crosby emphasizes is neither intangible nor immeasurable. Its quantified and be able to be put back to work to improve the bottom line. Crosby's emphasis is on prevention, not inspection and cure. His goal is to meet requirements on time, first time and every time. Crosby believes that the prime responsibility for poor quality lies with management, and management sets the standard for the quality initiative from the top.

The Crosbys approach to quality is unambiguous; he view; good, wrong, high and low qualities are vague ideas and a genuine meaning of quality s conformance to requirements. In his opinion, the non-conformance products are those products that the management has failed to specify and control. The cost incurs in producing non-conformance products is equals the cost of not doing it right the first time, and not bringing out any defect in processes. Crosby views quality as a conformance to requirements( Crosby,1979). The quality defined must be in a measurable and clearly stated terms to help the organization take action based on achievable targets, rather than using opinions, or experience. According to Crosby, quality is either present or not present; there is nothing like the difference in quality. The work of management should measure quality as a way of tracking the cost of doing things not right or wrong (price of non-conformance), this value is significant since it provides the management the information about the wasted costs.( Jackson,2001).. Cosby also emphasizes the importance of defining the requirements of a product and is clearly understood by the Directorate. In his view, he says that high quality in products reduces costs and raises profits. Quality is measured by the quality value. There is a similarity in quality categorization between Crosby and Juran- prevention, appraisal and failure. Crosby champions for prevention rather than after-the-fact inspections and also he presents management grid which contains five stages: uncertainty, awakening, enlightenment, wisdom, and certainty. Through the stages of the management network, the management can assess the status of quality in the organization, how to handle the problem, the cost of quality as a percentage of sales, and quality improvement actions. Crosby came up with 14 steps of quality improvement: ( Crosby,1979).

1) Management commitment to quality - this shows how the administration stands on quality, and it should be clear to all.

2) Setting up a quality improvement team- with representatives from all workgroups and functions, the work of this team according to Crosby is to run the quality improvement program.

3) Quality measurement to provide reports of current and non-conformance problems in an objective manner that permits evaluation and corrective action.

4) The cost of quality (calculate the cost of poor quality) -here it looks at the ingredients of the expense of quality and explain how it can use as a management tool.

5) Quality awareness- aiming at providing a method of raising the personal concern for product quality felt by all the workers.

6) Corrective action-providing a systematic process for resolving problems in quality identified.

7) Zero defect action (monitor progress in quality improvement) - preparing for Zd launching, establish a committee that will launch the zero defect program.

8) Employee education (train supervisors in quality improvement) - management defines the type and extent of supervisors training to carry out their part in quality improvement program.

9) Hold a Zero detect day- on this stage popularize zero detect philosophy and raise the quality consciousness.

10) Goal setting-this step employee set their commitment and goals in process of quality improvement

11) Error-cause-removal involves developing a way where the employee communicates to the management regarding error cause removal

12) Recognition of good work in the quality process- this step management appreciates employees with extraordinary performance (recognizing participant efforts)

13) Create Quality councils-brings together a professional quality team for a planned communication on a regular basis; its important for this team to meet on a regular basis so as to share their problems, feelings and experiences with each other. . (Jackson, 2001).

14) Do it over again since the quality improvement never ends and is a constant effort.

According to Crosby, mistakes are made by two factors; lack of knowledge and lack of attention. Through education and training, we can the first cause, and a personal commitment to excellence and attention to details will cure the second cause (Crosby,1979).

Rom the above 14 quality improvement steps Crosby, point out that management should take considerable responsibility for quality and employees only to follow their managers' examples. Crosby goes ahead and defines the four absolutes of quality management: quality is conformance to requirements, quality prevention is preferable to quality inspections, zero defects is the quality tone, and quality can only be measured in monetary terms ( the price of non-conformance).

According to Crosby, organization can be successful be characterized when: management and employees routinely do things right from the first time, when change is anticipated and used to group advantage, the growth or expansion is consistent and profitable, new service and products appear when needed, and everyone is happy to work there.


Gathering from Crosby work, I can sum up that its managements responsibility to provide goals, commitment, leadership, and encouragement to technical and human process. It's also important for an organization to provide employee education and training for the purpose of improving the quality. Employee recognition and awarding for an excellent performance is a motivation in keeping up with developing the standards for the quality. Lastly, the emphasis should be put on prevention of the product defects, not infection after the occurrence of the event. ( Crosby,1979).


Crosby, P. B. (1979). Quality is free: The art of making quality certain. New York: McGraw-Hill

Bendell, A., & Great Britain (1992). The quality gurus: What can they do for your company?. London: Dept. of Trade and Industry.

Jackson, B. (2001). Management gurus and management fashions: A dramatistic inquiry. London: Routledge

Talley, D. J. (1991). Total quality management: Performance and cost measures: the strategy for economic survival. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQC Quality Press

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Philip Crosby - Management Guru. (2021, Mar 13). Retrieved from

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