Building quality organization

17Building Quality Organization Airbus Company

Building Quality Organization Airbus Company

(Student Name)


Table of Contents

Introduction 2

Quality Management at Airbus 3

Organizational Strategic Targets 5

Quality Philosophies and Communication 7

Application of Quality Tools 10

Management Systems Used For Holistic Quality 12

Deficiencies in Organizational Human Resources Management 14


References 17

List of figures

Fig.1 Continual and continuous change

Fig.2 Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation

James Harrington Quality Improvement Road Map

Fig 4.Ishikawa Fisborne: Source

Fig 5.A Gantt chart

Fig.6 TQM within TSI within TQM


With the rising competition in the markets, businesses are developing strategies that would ensure the acquisition of the desired competitive advantage. However, the needs of the potential customers are changing making it difficult for most organizations to adjust their processes to suit the needs of the customers. As a result, some businesses, including the Airbus Company, are focusing on quality improvement as a means of attracting the customers. Airbus is a company dealing with the manufacturing of the aircrafts and formally established as a European consortium in 1970. The company has its head office in Toulouse in France and operates in more than 160 international locations (Airbus, 2016). Such locations include 16 major development and manufacturing sites existing in France, United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany with the three subsidiaries owned in China, North America, and Japan. The company benefits from its unique workforce through integration of more than 80 nationalists and speaking more than 20 languages. The central focus of Airbus lies the human talent, hard work, and vision that keep the company as the leaders in the highly competitive market. With more than 55,000 workers originating from more than 80 countries, the company enjoys cultural diversity, which is its key to success.

Quality Management at Airbus

The aim of every business is to satisfy the needs of its potential consumers. However, with continuous changes in the needs of the market, most organizations are leveraging on quality management systems to ensure the services offered meet specific needs of the customers. Airbus has in place several strategies of ensuring deliverance of quality services. Since the 1940s, quality is the major factor that is still the dominant theme in management (Goetsch & Davis, 2013, 221). Initially, businesses focused on the satisfaction of customers’ needs without consideration of quality; however, the quality management is achieving pre-eminence among the managers. Airbus ensures the achievement of quality using three different dimensions: economic, social, and environmental strategies. With increasing population, there is rise in the rates of labour force that require job satisfaction. With the changing needs of the customers, organizations need to improve the quality of the products and services offered to the potential customers. These changes take a series steps as clearly defined by Beckford (2010, 200).

Building quality organization

Fig.1 Continual and continuous change (Source: Beckford, 2010, 200)

Economic imperative of the company involves its contribution in ensuring the achievement of economic development through its outlined goals. The company offers employment opportunities to skilled and employees to ensure the deliverance of quality services that meet the needs of the customers. Quality in the manufacturing industry is critical; therefore, while reducing the cost of production, the company has measures in place to ensure high level of customers’ satisfaction. The company’s economic imperative is driven by the needs to ensure provision of quality services and largely by the ever-changing needs of the customers (Franceschini & Galetto, 2006, 115). The achievement of these factors requires long term planning which are consistent with organizational goals and objectives. Besides, it is critical that the company contribute to economic development through the manufacturing sector through which it operates. Airbus’ economic imperative also involves contribution in infrastructural development, beneficiation, and ensuring production of quality products in competitive manner.

“It is essential that quality be treated as a potential part of the problem and be considered as a possible cause of decline” (Beckford, 2010, 21)

Concerning social imperative, the company effectively manages its employees and involve the local communities through its corporate social responsibility. Besides, employees are great organizational assets. The company exploits the human capacities and talents through ensuring that they work using efficient and effective systems, which encourage the development of their skills to guarantee the production of quality products. To ensure proper utilization of the available resources, the company integrates the available technology and human resources to ensure the achievement of competitive advantage. With the available employees from diversified cultures, the management maximizes the opportunity associated with such social cohesion. Environment is becoming highly sensitive with countries in which Airbus operates enacting the laws to control ecological destructions associated with the manufacturing process. On environmental imperative, the company has adequate measures to reduce the waste and use on environmental resources. The company works closely with the local communities to ensure the identification of activities that have negative influence on the environmental conditions. In every organizational aspect, the community in which the organization exists often play critical role in ensuring institutional activities comply with the required environmental laws. The company has sustainable methods of disposing the wastes, which do not have negative impacts on the environmental conditions.

Organizational Strategic Targets

Airbus operates in a competitive market with ‘take on’ and ‘send off’ businesses. Therefore, the company has several methods of acquiring competitive advantage, which also acts as its strengths. Strategic management and achievement of competitive advantage depends organizational commitment to ensuring the achievement of organizational long-term goals.

“Complaints about quality, arising from either the internal quality control function or from the customers, were acknowledged but ignored in pursuit of productivity” (Beckford, 2010, 21)

The company has several strategies that ensure effective operations ensuring the achievement of the desired quality. The operational management include a team consisting of specialists in various profession that assist in the implementation and optimization of the business processes, tools, methods, and quality standards. The aim of the company’s operations is to ensure provision of a platform for the different actors involved in the aeronautical supply chain to guarantee the achievement of seamless, efficient, and sustainable processes that boost organizational performance (Beckford, 2010, 61). For efficiency in operations, the company ensures proper motivation of the employees and provision of healthy working environments. Such strategies are in line with Mintzberge motivation theory that highlights how motivation and hygiene influence organizational operations.

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Fig.2 Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation (Source: Beckford, 2010, 12)

Airbus administration plays a critical in ensuring the achievement of the desired objectives. Each department undertakes its responsibilities effectively to ensure provision of quality products. Moreover, each department operating in different has its management to ensure efficiency and effectiveness while administering various duties. Airbus administration ensures efficient allocation, utilization, and ensures control of organizational resources to achieve the desired results. Although there are several constraints faced by the company, organizational administration uses available resources to pursue institutional goals, which are important for realization of quality operations and achievement of the desired competitive advantage. The administration emphasizes on employment of skilled, result oriented and committed employees in achieving organization goals.

According to Henry Mintzberg, organizational structure tends to emerge from the interplay of organization’s strategy, the environmental forces influencing the experiences, and organizational structure itself. Airbus depends on the increasing demands to anchor its quality strategy. Provision of quality services, efficient customer relations, and environmental sustainability are the strategies used by the company to ensure the achievement of the desired results. Quality is critical for any business operation. In pursuit of creation and sustenance of competitive advantage to create quality, Airbus collaborates with other relevant institutions (Beckford, 2010, 121). With such strategy, it is clear that Airbus would acquire its long-term goal of enjoying competitive advantage as the leader in airline manufacturer. With the changing nature of the business environment, Airbus managed to change normative decision through adjusting organizational mission statement, goals, and employee relations. The factors that led to such changes are the increasing concern on ethical considerations such as morality, environmentalism, and the desired to ensure production of quality aircrafts.

Quality Philosophies and Communication

Application of the theories according to the quality management philosophies has been beneficial to the company. Edward Deming (1900 – 1993) is considered the Father of Modern Quality that requires organizations to apply good philosophy to achieve the highest level of performance, which changes behaviour, and ensure adoption of new methods doing business. About Deming’s philosophy, the company applies various points including constant creation of purposes to improve the products for the desired competitive advantage, adoption of new philosophies with the changing economic performances, ceasing mass inspection and focusing on statistical evidence, which defines organizational quality (Summers, 2005, 101). Moreover, the company also ensures improvement in the incoming materials and focusing on method of determining the problems ad devising the methods of improving them. To ensure quality in all institutional programmes, Airbus instituted modern methods of training and educating and supervising the employees, which is a communication technique to ensure involvement of employees in management issues.

Fear is the major barrier of most organization; therefore, Airbus is driving such fear out through encouraging an effective two-way communication and other methods encouraging full participation of the employees. Philip Crosby is another quality philosopher that developed the Zero defect. Crosby coined the Zero defect and defined quality as a conformance to the requirements. In the Airbus, there is greater commitment of the employees considering organizational motivational strategies. The zero defect is a performance standard and technique citing that if the employees commit themselves to ensuring the production of quality products and avoiding production errors, then the organization is likely to move closer the goal of zero defects (Reilly, Sirgy, & Gorman, 2012, 122). Zero defect is a method of thinking which reinforces compliance management that defects are unacceptable. With the rising competition in the aircraft manufacturing industry, the company is aiming to increase its profits through elimination of the failure cost and ensuring increment in its revenue through increasing customer satisfaction and production of quality products. Crosby’s zero defect does not focus much on perfection but changing the perspective of the management through recognizing the high cost associated with quality issues, continuously thinking on the areas of introducing the flaws, and working proactively in a bid to improve the flaws within the systems and processes that allow the defects to occur.

Building quality organization 2Fig.3James Harrington Quality Improvement Road Map (Source;Summers, 2005, 64)

James Harrington is another quality guru with major focus on process improvement. On the other hand, Kaoru Ishikawa, the student of Dr Edward Deming, played a critical role in quality movement in Japan. Ishikawa’s research on quality management majorly concentrated on the in-depth explanation of various quality tools and statistics. These tools are majorly known as the cause and effect diagram, which also formed the foundation for Quality Circle Movement. According to Ishikawa, quality improvement strategies need to be organization wide to ensure the required success and sustainability over a long span (Beckford, 2010, 97). The Quality Circle Movement promoted aimed at supporting the improvement, ensuring the existence of respectful human relations within the workplace, increased level of job satisfaction, and recognition of employee capacities and utilization of their ideas. For the quality circles to be effective, the management need to understand the statistical methods and act of the recommendations from various members of the quality circles.

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Fig 4.Ishikawa Fisborne: Source (Beckford, 2010, 106)

Application of Quality Tools

To ensure the achievement of the desired quality products, the company uses different quality tools. Sigma six is the commonly used tool as a strategy of improving the operational performance especially through reduction of wastes and elimination of the variability. The tool is data driven and applies methodological approach in eliminating the defects with an aim of reaching the six standard deviation while manufacturing quality aircrafts. When reconstructing its management style as a method of enhancing quality, Airbus often consider the application of sigma six tool. Based on the company’s total quality management (TQM), sigma six is critical in achieving very low defect rates. Moreover, Airbus uses various techniques including the statistical process controls in monitoring organizational activities to ensure provision of quality products. Quality tools also identify the exceptions to both the lower and upper limits that aim to reduce the number of faults. The company’s sigma six involves two critical methodologies: DMADV and DMAIC inspired by Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle (Campbell, 2005, 520). DMAIC is important in improving organizational processes and involves a series of steps. The steps include definition of the process improvement goals that are consistent with customers’ needs and organizational strategies, measuring institutional key aspects of processing and collecting relevant information, and analysis of data with an aim of verifying the cause-and-effect relationship. The technique also improves the process based on the analysed data. While considering to quality management in large projects, it is critical to focus on the Gantt chart as it ensure clear analysis of the project’s components. Adequate training is critical to ensure that both the management and employees undertake their responsibilities while focusing on a particular common goal. Planning is critical within an organization while aiming to achieve organizational quality. Through the Gantt chart as presented by Beckford (2010, 324), the technique allows breaking down of various factors that determine the quality of organizational processes and ensure maintenance of high level of awareness of the activities in place that are result oriented. Each activity presented within the network of Gantt chart play critical role but have similar baseline, time. Review allows the organization to countercheck its strategies especially if the business does not achieve its desired quality objectives.

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Fig 5. A Gantt chart (Source: Beckford, 2010, 324)

However, DMADV is used in creation of new organizational process design and product. DMADV involves definition of the goal consistent with both the needs of the business and organization, and effective verification of the designs. Another important tool used in the organization to ensure the product of quality products is benchmarking. Benchmarking is an effective quality management tool that enables Airbus to acquire competitive advantage through construction of the strengths and ensuring reduction in the weaknesses. The strategy is effective as it allows the management to compete (Campbell, 2005, 522). As a quality tool, benchmarking is important for the company since it sets objectives based on the external information. Airbus is both time and cost efficient as the involved processes imitate and adapt rather than pure invention.

Management Systems Used For Holistic Quality

Development of quality does not only depend on organizational processes but also the suppliers of the products used. Therefore, the company focuses on supplier development to ensure effective collaboration with the supplier to assist improve their processes and product manufacturing capacities. Airbus leverages supplier knowledge and technology using supplier development through OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) with an aim of reducing the cost and reducing the risk of the project. Such a strong collaboration between the OEM and the supplies tend to increase velocity in the market while shortening the cycle of development (Sirgy, 2001, 32). In some cases, the company experiences unique struggles associated with the suppliers include late deliveries, material of low standard and inadequate responses to the problems. As a result, has supplier development through strategic planning, project management, undertaking trainings, and facilitation that leverages the expertise of the supplier.

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Fig.6 TQM within TSI within TQM (Source: Beckford, 2010, 281)

For quality purposes, the company also emphasizes on TQM with core values stressing on continuous improvement in the quality of the products and services that satisfy the specific needs of the customers. Therefore, it is critical that both the customers and suppliers participate in TQM. With all the activities undertaken by Airbus, it aims to satisfy the needs of the customers through integration of the TQM principles in management. Organizational principles include production of quality work the first time, focusing on the customers, having strategic approach of ensuring improvement in quality, continuous improvement in services, and encouraging mutual teamwork and respect.

As a multi-national corporation, the company satisfies the ISO 9000 through the definition, establishment, and maintenance of an effective quality assurance system within all its branches. The ISO 9000 ensures that all the products reaching the market from the market meet international standards (Sochalski, 2004, 21). In Beckford, (2010, 237), “ISO 9000 is one of a series of quality management systems developed over a long period of time beginning with quality standards in the defence industry,” it is clear that standards play critical role in ensuring product quality. To acquire certification, the company ensured quality processes and activities through implementation of the Quality Management System that requires management of all the organizational processes. However, for compliance, the company’s QMS manages the facilities, people, training, services, and equipment to ensure quality in all organizational departments. Airbus has a separate department that ensures quality assurance, which increase the confidence of the potential customers and company’s credibility while improving the processes and efficiency to enable the company compete effectively with the others. The company uses ISO 9000 to ensure that its quality assurance in lace and effective. Conformance with certification ensures deliverance of quality products and services; therefore, the company has quality assurance policies and objectives.

Deficiencies in Organizational Human Resources Management

Human resource management ensure the achievement of quality through ensuring hiring and selection of experienced, skilled, and motivated employees. Besides the human resources, other factors influencing the quality are materials, processes, machinery, and environment. Although the company enjoys various processes that ensure production of quality products, the employees are not motivated due to the deploring working conditions (Sochalski, 2004, 22). The employees are the greatest organizational assets and their motivation determines the performance and quality of the product produced by the company. The primary reason behind the motivation of the employees is due to the ever-changing needs of the customers and advancement in technology. To ensure that the business remains up to the standards and compete sustainably, Airbus need to acclimatize with such changes.

Consequently, it has become a crucial factor in management to know what motivates their workers instead of emphasizing on increased productivity levels. The environment in which the workers undertake their duties as a team should allow the express the opinions on the matters influencing their performances as such would ensure that they work towards a common goal. There are several methods of motivating the employees.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory disputes the idea that money and benefits are the major factors motivating the employees. However, the theory contradicts Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which provides substantial evidence the employees cannot satisfy themselves only by the hygiene factors (Lal, 2008, 184). The workers often undertake their responsibilities not to fulfill their desired basic needs but also to enhance their values, ensure their success, and meet their desires from such performances. Profit maximization is the principle characteristic of all business activities. As a result, company needs to formulate a myriad of strategies and policies that aim at enhancing productivity level. However, the center of such profitability lies the capacity of the business to manage the available human resources effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, organizations often struggle to deal with the various challenges that attract and retaining the highly trained employees.


The paper focused on quality management in Airbus Company with the analysis of various strategies in place to ensure production of quality products and strategies that might contribute to the required competitive advantage. The paper discussed organizational imperative including environmental, social, and economic. To acquire the required competitive advantage and production of quality products, the company’s quality assurance department has to ensure that the company complies with the ISO 9000 for Quality Management System (QMS). Moreover, quality assurance would ensure compliance with the required international standards within the market. Airbus Company uses various statistical tools, sigma six, and benchmarking to ensure the achievement of desired quality. Quality products depends of the strategies in place to manage the supply chain; as a result, the Airbus has its supply development that brings together all its suppliers with a common, ensuring supplying of quality products.


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