Quality -Meaning, Definition and Dimensions

Quality

Meaning

Quality is a subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition.In business, engineering and manufacturing, quality has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something; it is also defined as fitness for purpose. Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly.Support personnel may measure quality in the degree that a product is reliable, maintainable, or sustainable. A quality item (an item that has quality) has the ability to perform satisfactorily in service and is suitable for its intended purpose.

Quality is a product or service’s ability to meet the customers’ need or want. Quality is difficult to define, and varies with each consumer, however we can take a look at some of the components of quality for products and services:

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Definition

According to Joseph Juran, quality means “fitness for use;”

According to Philip Crosby, it means “conformance to requirements.”

ISO 9000: “Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.

Dimensions of Quality

Multiple Dimensions of Quality The concept of quality includes not only the product and service attributes that meet basic requirements, but also those that enhance and differentiate them from competing offerings. However, not every firm needs to compete along the same dimensions of quality. David A. Garvin  observes that quality consists of eight basic dimensions:

  1. Performance: A product’s primary operating characteristics.
  2. Features. The “bells and whistles” of the product.
  3. Reliability: The probability that a product will operate properly over a specified period of time under stated conditions of use.
  4. Conformance: The degree to which physical and performance characteristics of a product match pre-established standards.
  5. Durability: The amount of use one gets from a product before it physically deteriorates or until replacement is preferable.
  6. Serviceability: The speed, courtesy, and competence of repair.
  7. Aesthetics. How a product looks, feels, sounds, tastes, or smells.
  8. Perceived quality: Subjective assessment resulting from image, advertising, or brand name.