TQM LO29297

From: Fred Nickols (nickols@safe-t.net)
Date: 10/12/02

Replying to Terri Deems in LO29285 --

>Seems I also recall in a video (perhaps the same one) that Deming was
>somewhat offended by people looking at his work strictly in terms of the
>statistical processes, ignoring what he believed to be foundational: the
>philosophical assumptions concerning work and the nature of the worker
>(where 'driving out fear' comes into play, as well as eliminating
>meaningless slogans, wall posters, etc., cultivating pride in work and so
>forth). Something to the effect that without the philosophical
>understandings firmly in place, the rest was meaningless.

Ditto for Frederick Winslow Taylor. He and Deming had much in common.
Consider the following excerpt from Taylor's testimony before Congress in
1912 --

         "Scientific management is not any efficiency device, ot a device
of any kind for securing efficiency; nor is it any bunch or group of
efficiency devices. It is not a new system of figuring costs; it is not a
new scheme of paying men; it is not a piecework system; it is not a bonus
system; it is not a premium system; it is no scheme for paying men; it is
not holding a stop watch on a man and writing things down about him; it is
not time study; it is not motion study nor an analysis of the movements of
men; it is not the printing and ruling and unloading of a ton or two of
blanks on a set of men and saying, 'Here's your system; go use it.' It is
not divided foremanship or functional foremanship; it is not any of the
devices which the average man calls to mind when scientific management is
spoken of. The average man thinks of one or more of these things whenhe
hears the words 'scientific management' mentioned, but scientific
management is not any of these devices. I am not sneering at cost-keeping
systems, at time study, at functional foremanship, nor at any new and
improved scheme of paying men, nor at any efficiency devices, if they are
really devices that make for efficiency. I believe in them; but what I am
emphasizing is that these devices in whole or in part are not scientific
management; they are useful adjuncts to scientific management, so are they
also useful adjuncts of other systems of management.

Taylor went on to argue that the tension and strife between management and
the worker were rooted in how to divide the "surplus" between profits and
wages. (Taylor used "surplus" to refer to income minus the expenses of
running the business but before any profits had been taken or wages paid.)
He argued further that the solution to the conflict was for management and
the worker to collaborate in producing a larger surplus instead of
quarreling over how to divide the surplus they had.

Taylor also testified that scientific management hinged on two "absolutely
essential elements" -- (1) a great mental revolution on the part of the
worker and the management and (2) the substitution of exact scientific
investigation and knowledge for the old individual judgment or opinion,
either of the workman or the boss, in all matters relating to the work
done in the establishment. The revolution in attitude called for "the
substitution of peace for war; the substitution of hearty brotherly
cooperation for contention and strife; of both pulling hard in the same
direction instead of pulling apart; of replacing suspicious watchfulness
with mutual confidence; of becoming friends instead of enemies."

In the end, Taylor was arguing, as later did Deming, that there is a
difference between form and substance, that it is the substance of the
thing, be it scientific management or TQM, that matters. Both arguments
fell on deaf ears. Today, many people equate scientific management with
stopwatches, clipboards and time-and-motion studies (still excellent tools
by the way) and many people equate TQM with statistical analysis of
processes (also an excellent tool).

In Taylor's time, many if not most businesses were still operated by their
owners. By Deming's time, the modern corporation and professional
management had taken their place. Yet, the rush to commercially exploit
innovations that are not fully understood still occurs, form is still
confused with substance (or, worse, knowingly and arrogantly paraded as
one and the same), management and the worker are still at odds with one
another and, as Peter Drucker has regularly observed for more than 40
years now, we still don't know much about making knowledge work
productive. I wonder why that is.

[Note: The quoted passage above is from the 1947 edition of Scientific
Management, which includes Shop Management, Scientific Management and
Taylor's Testimony before Congress. The passage comes from page 26 of the


Fred Nickols


Fred Nickols <nickols@safe-t.net>

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