, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 329-330
Date: 19 Jan 2012

Communities of circles

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The two editors have jointly been involved since 2005 in the series of conventions and international dialogues which have resulted in this special issue.

We had both been involved in the Quality movement in industry and shared our frustration at developments, as in the UK the focus was increasingly on Compliance rather than Empowerment. An overwhelmingly top-down process tended to stifle innovation and creativity by individual workers, rather than empowering them to bring about continuous improvement.

The first sign of change did not come from the UK or USA, but from Asia. Japan had been the birthplace of Quality Circles, and India hosted their adaptation for schools, with Students’ Quality Circles.

It was not possible to visit City Montessori School in Lucknow, India, without being overwhelmed by the energy and enthusiasm of Circles of young people, tackling practical problems, and giving case study presentations of professional standard. With the founder manager Jagdish Gandhi taking a