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Towards societal satisfaction in a fifth generation of quality – the sustainability model


The quality concept has developed over many generations. The purpose of this article is to review and describe how the quality movement developed through four sequential generations and how a fifth generation is upcoming. Building on the different generations of quality, the fifth generation reveals differing needs between customers and stakeholders.

In the new generation of quality, societal satisfaction would be a more appropriate way of measuring sustainable success. Consequently, and to support societal satisfaction, additional quality management models that complement current approaches are needed. For organisations to manage current, fast-changing environments successfully, existing management models need to be further developed.

Hence, to support decision makers in the fifth generation of quality, Quality 5.0, achieve societal satisfaction, this paper proposes a generic model for sustainable development, based on a longitudinal trend analysis of two sequential Delphi studies conducted in 2012 and 2018. The sustainability model supports all organisations—private or public, large or small—on their pathway towards sustainable organisational success and a sustainable future.