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Joseph Juran: overcoming resistance to organisational change
  1. Mark Best1,
  2. Duncan Neuhauser2
  1. 1Associate Professor, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton, FL 34211, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-4945, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 M Best
 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine–Bradenton, Bradenton, FL 34211, USA; markbest20{at}

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Dr Joseph Juran is well known to most quality scholars. With a productive career spanning over three quarters of a century, his leadership and service in the field of quality management is measured in decades, not years. He has taught or consulted in at least 34 countries. He has written or contributed to hundreds of papers, speeches and dozens of books. His books have been translated into 12 or more languages. Among other things, he has pushed the concepts of the Pareto principle and Juran trilogy, and has increased the role of the human dimension in quality.1

Juran currently lives with his wife in Rye, New York, USA. He was born in Braila, Romania on 24 December 1904. His father was a shoemaker. At the age of 8 years, he and his family moved to Minneapolis, USA. The relocation was motivated by a desire to escape poverty and anti-Semitism. His mother died from tuberculosis about 8 years later. As a child and young adult, Juran was no stranger to hard work, and he reported that he had about 16 jobs, including selling newspapers, being a grocery store clerk, book-keeping and being a janitor, in the 12 years that he lived in Minneapolis. He learnt from all his work experiences, but he also pursued a formal education in addition to his demanding work schedule.1,2 In 1924, he obtained a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He married Sadie Shapiro in 1926. He later went on to obtain a law degree from Loyola University in 1936, perhaps motivated by the economic uncertainty of the Depression.

With a starting salary of $27/week, Joseph Juran worked at the Western Electric Hawthorne plant in Cicero, Illinois, USA, from 1924 to 1941. There, he was influenced by Walter A Shewhart. …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.