Quality as described by the managerial or excellence approach is a key component of modern business philosophy. According to this usage, quality is measured by customer satisfaction and is achieved by constantly striving to meet customers' requirements. The penalty for failure is loss of profitability and, ultimately an organizations' demise; the reward for success is survival in rapidly-changing competitive environments. The excellence approach can overturn traditional hierarchies and opens up new avenues of influence because it decrees that the entire workforce shares responsibility for quality. Management relies on leadership rather than on status. Vertical structures are replaced by horizontal ones in which small-scale units are responsible to continually improve their excellence.
Lack of qualitative excellence is demonstrated in a wide variety of fields: management standards in business administration emphasize economy and efficiency; entrepreneurial standards are set by payback and profitability ratios, with quality of products and services coming only second in consideration. In public administration, standards are focused on numbers of people served and for how long a time, so that qualitative aspects of the services offered are frequently subordinated to provisions for their durability. In the sciences, research that can provide immediate application is better funded than pure or basic research whose values are long-range. And in the arts, business considerations produce a popular culture where levels of expression and performance continually reach new depths.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.