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Armand Vallin Feigenbaum

Armand Vallin Feigenbaum, born 1922, earned his ‘‘this narrowly defined emphasis on quality had a
bachelor’s degree from Union College in Schenectady, wide ripple effect.’’ Feigenbaum became aware that
NY, and went on to acquire both his master’s and the pursuit of quality connects every process and
Ph.D. from MIT. Perhaps best known for his devel- person in the organization; quality is not a matter of
opment of Total Quality Control, now called Total technique, statistical control, or testing machines, but
Quality Management, Feigenbaum acted as Director rather a way of leading, inspiring, integrating efforts
of Manufacturing Operation at General Electric, Pres- and managing for profitability and growth.
ident of the American Society for Quality, and Today, many companies use Feigenbaum’s methods
currently serves as President and CEO of General to create an effective corporate mindset. Feigenbaum
Systems Company in Pittsfield, MA. asserts that today’s ‘‘competitive worldwide market-
A leader in quality cost management, Feigenbaum place and advances in information technology have
has been repeatedly recognized for his achievements. created greater customer demand for quality than
Among his honors, Feigenbaum was the first recipient ever before.’’ With the Internet, the quality of products
of ASQ’s Lancaster Award as well as the 1965 Edwards and services is increasingly transparent to customers,
Medal for ‘‘his origination and implementation of ba- leading some products, not perceived as high quality,
sic foundations for modern quality control.’’ to fail weeks or months after their initial launch. Ac-
Additionally, Feigenbaum was presented with the cording to Feigenbaum, this is due to the fact that
National Security Industrial Association Award of ‘‘consumers now view quality as a fundamental mea-
Merit and received the Union College Founders sure of their total perception of the product or service
Medal. He has served as a consultant for the Indus- as well as of the company, delivery and maintenance
trial College of the Armed Forces and is a life member network that provides and supports it.’’
of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics En- An innovator in management strategy, Fe-
gineers and the American Society of Mechanical igenbaum’s work has revolutionized the way
Engineers. Feigenbaum is also a fellow of the Amer- companies manage quality today. According to a re-
ican Association for the Advancement of Science. cent survey by the American Society for Quality, ‘‘80%
Early in his career at General Electric, Feigenbaum, of all executives recognize total quality leadership as a
along with his brother Donald, began to construct systematic way of creating an effective corporate
Total Quality Control, which he would later expound mindset.’’ As we move further into the 21st century,
upon in his 1951 book titled Quality Control: Principles, the employment of Total Quality Management will
Practice, and Administration. At GE, Feigenbaum ob- become even more crucial as companies shift from
served that managing for quality was very specific investment in ‘‘hard’’ assets to ‘‘soft’’ assets. Fe-
and meant that only one department was responsible igenbaum’s work may prove even more valuable in
for ensuring that technical specifications in products the future than when he first initiated Total Quality
and services were met. According to Feigenbaum, Management in his early years at GE.

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Armand Vallin Feigenbaum