Enumeration of the Organizational Culture Prescribed by the Deming Theory of Management

By Polito, Tony; Kros, John et al. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Enumeration of the Organizational Culture Prescribed by the Deming Theory of Management


Polito, Tony, Kros, John, Berry, Rik, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


ABSTRACT

Dr. W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) is widely credited as the management philosopher most influential in the economic recovery of post-war Japan as well as the 20th Century ascent of quality as a strategic approach toward organizational leadership and culture. His philosophy effected a vast amount of profound influence and recognition, yet there exists little formal academic research on topic in the literature, despite a number of calls to research.

This work contributes a set of numerical values based upon a mature, established survey instrument that models a set of constructs regarding organizational culture. The instrument was completed by a significant number of Deming subject matter experts. The responses form a quantitative profile of the organizational culture prescribed under Demingism.

Analysis finds significant difference between the Deming quantitative profile and the instrument's normative values along all of its constructs. The derived values appear to be in rational agreement with major tenets of Deming's philosophy. Informal evidence suggests that approximately one-third of the Demingism is represented within the instrument's model.

The values found can be used to test Demingism against various organizational outcomes or to compare Demingism with other organizational cultures.

W. EDWARDS DEMING

Dr. W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) is widely credited as the management philosopher most influential in the economic recovery of post-war Japan as well as the 20th Century ascent of quality as a strategic approach toward organizational leadership and culture (Bean, 1985; Dixon, 1987; Kusumoto, 1987; Lazzareschi, 1993; Milstein, 1992). Deming's management philosophy is typically considered as significant as, and generally contradicts most aspects of, Taylorism (Knouse, Carson, & Carson, 1993; Rossler & Beruvides, 1994; Tipton, 1994; Washbush, 2002). In the words of one Deming expert (Aguayo, 1990), Demingism "destroys every important notion of management, shows that the important things learned in business school are not only wrong but that they lead to inferior results, poor quality, and customer dissatisfaction." Today, both of Deming's two major management books (Deming, 1986, 1994) enjoy continuing sales in ten languages and well over 100 self-organized Deming study groups exist throughout the world.

The significance of Deming's managerial philosophy was, and continues to be, recognized by the most prominent of leaders and institutions. In recognition of his contributions toward the recovery of the Japanese economy, The Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure was bestowed on Deming by Emperor Hirohito. In 1950, Japan's highest national award for quality, named the Deming Prize, was established by JUSE, the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, 2003). In 1983, Deming was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 1985, he was titled Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. In 1986, he was inducted into the Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. Deming received the National Medal of Technology from President Reagan in 1986 "for his advocacy to corporations and nations of a general management philosophy that has resulted in improved product quality with consequent betterment of products available to users as well as more efficient corporate performance." Shortly thereafter, Deming received an award for his "Distinguished Career in Science" from the National Academy of Sciences. Newt Gingrich lectured on the value of Deming methods, finding that they would be "one of the five pillars upon which American civilization would be renewed in the 21st century" (Gingrich, 1995). The cover story of the April 22, 1991 edition of U. S. News and World Report (Boorstin & Parshall, 1991) named its "nine hidden turning points in human history;" its ninth turning point was Deming's fathering of the Japanese quality revolution. …

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