receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
World's Best Boss

Do you have the world's best boss?Enter them to win two tickets to Sandals!

BDC Hamburger Icon


BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated Jun 28, 2023

Management Theory of Joseph Juran

author image
Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership

Table of Contents

Open row

Joseph Juran was a pioneer in the study of quality control whose management theory has gained worldwide recognition in the science, engineering and mathematics fields. His Juran’s Quality Control Handbook is still in use today. 

Juran’s quality theory impacted Japanese industries after World War II, when he and a colleague traveled to Japan to help rebuild the economy.

Juran’s management theory continued to develop throughout his lifetime. He died in 2008 at the age of 103. Today, his theory of quality management is part of other quality management theories, such as Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. Globally, Juran is regarded as one of the founding fathers of quality management programs.

Did You Know?Did you know

Juran’s theory of quality control became a foundational principle in Japan after his trip there in 1954 when the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers invited Juran to teach the theories and practices he’d been developing in America.

Management theory of Joseph Juran

1. The key steps in Juran’s theory on quality encompass three fundamental stages: quality planning, quality control and quality improvement. Today, these stages are known as the Juran Trilogy or the Quality Trilogy. They are used to both describe the quality management journey and establish quality control best practices.

Quality planning focuses on instituting quality by design (and sometimes is referred to as Design for Six Sigma). Specifically, it promotes designing a product, service, idea or information together with the processes that will produce the final iteration. This innovative method creates processes and design features that cater to customers’ needs. 

After the planning process, quality control also measures progress and evaluates performance. To conduct successful quality control, however, a business should outline what should be measured to evaluate the goal’s achievement. In addition, if there’s a gap between where the process should be and where it is in real time, the business should develop a method such as quality improvement to act on the gap and rectify the difference. 

Quality improvement can usher in lasting change for the process if it is continually introduced. The ways to promote quality improvement include repair, refinement, renovation and reinvention. 

FYIDid you know

Juran’s management theory hinges on continuous quality improvement. While it can be an arduous process for businesses, the commitment to never-ending quality planning, control and improvement makes lasting changes and fosters innovation.

2. To establish a comprehensive quality management system across an organization, identify the customer base, learn about their needs or problems, and strive to solve those issues. It is imperative to develop quality metrics and establish consistent measures to meet these needs, while also designing processes that operate effectively under real-world circumstances. A comprehensive understanding of the customer’s mindset enables decision makers to predict or anticipate issues when planning. This creates a more streamlined process.

Businesses can fulfill Juran’s first step of quality planning by defining what the customer wants and how the business plans to solve that need. What does the business require to build that solution? A defining part of this planning process is that key stakeholders have an involvement in the process; it is multidisciplinary, rather than siloed.

3. The effectiveness of Juran’s quality theory depends on the genuine commitment of top-level management to quality, without which all efforts would be useless. This principle, evident in Juran’s approach to quality improvement, advocates for a company-wide dedication to quality and a top-down mentality. Leaders can follow Juran’s 10 steps to quality to guide their commitment to quality planning, control and improvement. The first step is to communicate with their team that there is a need — and an opportunity — to improve in some way. Once management gets buy-in from the rest of their team, it’s time to set goals, provide training, measure progress, and communicate results. [Read more about Human Relations Management Theory Basics.] 

Tips for implementing Juran’s theory

Here are a few ways you can implement Juran’s theory into your business.

Find consultants who use Juran’s management theory.

As a business owner interested in implementing Juran’s theory into your business or your team, deep knowledge of the theory and buy-in from your peers is foundational to success. Find a consultant who specializes in Juran’s management theory to help guide you and the business in a new direction. 

A passionate commitment to quality improvement is difficult to maintain for businesses, with many stakeholder distractions and customer expectations. Working with a consultant who has experience instituting this management style in other businesses will prevent early burnout or abandonment of the Quality Trilogy.

Become educated in Juran’s background and management theory.

To gain a full understanding of the meaning behind Juran’s management philosophy, learn more about his educational background and the influences he had in creating his quality control theory.

Born in Romania in 1904, Juran was a prodigy, proficient in math and science. He was the first in his family to attend college at the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he worked in America for most of his life as an engineer. In 1951, he wrote Juran’s Quality Control Handbook, which remains one of the most essential reference books in quality management and engineering.

Juran’s management theory builds off of the Pareto principle, a theory from the late 1800s that says 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In both his prime and later years, Juran used the Pareto principle to craft a management theory that takes into account the full cause of issues in a process and innovative, efficient ways to solve them. 

Bottom LineBottom line

Business owners can implement Juran’s management theory to identify opportunities for improvement in their businesses and learn how to build a process that continually evolves with the changing needs of stakeholders.

Read more information on Juran and his theories.

Read Juran’s books for yourself. The Juran principle remains a nuanced, interesting theory — especially when used on real-world problems that need a solution. For example, learning more about the cost of poor quality and how to avoid chronic waste gives business owners a deeper understanding of the benefits behind consistent quality improvement. This information can guide them on how to solve resistance to change.

author image
Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Sean Peek has written more than 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top