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David Hunnicutt

A serious problem facing contemporary athletic departments is increasing bureaucratization. Further, many management scholars feel that bureaucracies inhibit human creativity and organizational communication. Ironically, the traits of creativity and communication are the very ingredients that helped athletic departments achieve success. This paper discusses the idea of integrating athletic administration and staff into a unified community of achievers by implementing a Japanese participative management technique known as quality circles into the organization. The paper (a) defines quality circles, (b) gives their origin, (c) presents an overview of quality circles in U.S. industry, (d) points to the need for quality circles in university athletic departments, and (e) discusses the implementation of quality circles into athletic departments.