Vision, Values, and Milestones: Paul O’Neill Starts Total Quality at Alcoa

by Peter Kolesar



Shortly after becoming the Aluminum Company of America's first outside Chairman and CEO in a century, Paul O'Neill launched a comprehensive corporation-wide total quality initiative as part of his strategy of refocussing the company on its core businesses and "reinventing" Alcoa. This article describes the process by which O'Neill and the senior executives of the Company educated themselves on quality management, and then designed the Alcoa Vision, Values and Milestones, the constitution of the Alcoa "Excellence Through Quality" initiative. An epilogue deals with the major changes in the organization and quality initiative made by O'Neill two years later when he was frustrated with the slow pace of improvement at Alcoa.

California Management Review

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