Armand V. Feigenbaum

Armand Vallin Feigenbaum (April 6, 1920[1][2] – November 13, 2014) was an American quality control expert and businessman.[3] He devised the concept of Total Quality Control which inspired Total Quality Management (TQM).


Feigenbaum Hall on the campus of Union College

Feigenbaum received a bachelor’s degree from Union College, his master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. He was Director of Manufacturing Operations at General Electric (1958–1968), and was later the President and CEO of General Systems Company of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, an engineering firm that helps companies define business operating systems. Feigenbaum wrote several books and served as President of the American Society for Quality (1961–1963). On November 13, 2014, he died at the age of 94.[4]


His contributions to the quality body of knowledge include:

  • Total quality control is an effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow full customer satisfaction.”
  • The concept of a “hidden” plant—the idea that so much extra work is performed in correcting mistakes that there is effectively a hidden plant within any factory.
  • Accountability for quality: Because quality is everybody’s job, it may become nobody’s job—the idea that quality must be actively managed and have visibility at the highest levels of management.
  • The concept of quality costs

Gravestone in the Anshe Amunim section of Pittsfield Cemetery