CityWork: Louisville KY – 1995 Innovations Winner
This is a public sector total quality management (TQM) case. Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Jerry Abramson, early in his second term, finds himself dissatisfied with what is ostensibly a significant string of accomplishments – among them economic development, housing and urban beautification projects. He finds himself wanting to do more than cut ribbons on new initiatives, though, and seeks, in addition, to change the way the ongoing, core departments of city government serve the public. In an effort to bring a customer orientation to such agencies as Louisville’s public works department, Abramson recruits a major local private employer – General Electric – to design a training program to bring its ”total quality” approach to the public sector. The case tells the story of the origins and effects of the GE/Louisville partnership.