ADR, TQM, partnering, and other management fantasies

F. H. Griffis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the current management problems associated with the architect-engineering-construction industry. It makes the assertion that the current fads of total quality management (TQM), alternate dispute resolution (ADR), partnering, and some of the older concepts of management by objective, exception, etc., skirt the problems facing the industry. The concepts of TQM, ADR, and partnering all make oblique approaches to apply W. Edward Deming's management fundamentals and leadership to the construction team and provide the solution necessary for competitive productivity in the construction industry. They are a move toward Deming's management approach that provided the road map for Japan to win the battle of competitive productivity. His 14 points with strong leadership in modifying the way the construction industry does business in the United States are proposed as an approach for the right solution. Arguments are presented why direct adoption of Deming's approach cannot work in the present culture of the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-344
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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