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Defining Quality in Technical Communication: A Holistic Approach
Karl L. Smart, Kristie K. Seawright and Kristen Bell DeTienne
Vol. 42, No. 3 (THIRD QUARTER AUGUST 1995), pp. 474-481
Published by: Society for Technical Communication
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43087955
Page Count: 8
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Total Quality (TQ) has emerged as a leading issue in the twentieth century. Recently, the principles of total quality have been applied to the field of technical communication. However, technical communicators—along with other TQ practitioners—have suffered from the inability to reach a consensus on what quality is and means. The varying definitions of quality can be categorized and plotted on a two-dimensional grid. The model suggests that quality has four different emphases—internal, external, subjective, and objective—that reflect its complex, multifaceted nature. Definitions of quality differ depending on the context and application of principles. By using a holistic approach that combines the various components of quality, technical communicators can better meet customer needs and expectations.
Technical Communication © 1995 Society for Technical Communication