Boundaryless Organization LO22928

Winfried Dressler (
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 11:19:17 +0200

Replying to LO22907 --

Dear John Zavacki,

surely you are very aware that there is a big gap between what Deming had
to say and what people think he said.

Before I read Demings The New Economics and Out of Crisis, I was one of
those "people". John, I am very grateful for your constant effort to
correct any mentioning of Deming "out of context" of his system of
profound knowledge. You made me read Deming.

I was trained in various courses on TQM and tools. In the introductory
parts of those courses I have heard names like Ohno, Taguchi and other
japanese and Deming as the father of them: an american prophet of quality,
not heard at home who became a teacher of quality management in Japan. I
never heard Val Fiegenbaum's "TQC" mentioned. From what I have learned in
those courses, I was not too impressed and didn't feel compelled to read

As a reader of Deming, I learned what you also stress:
>Deming did not write or teach about "Quality Management".
>He wrote about leadership and management.

Now I see what people do with what they learned in TQM courses and I know
what Demings intentions are and I realize that sometimes both contradict,
i.e. those people wouldn't do what they do if they had understood Deming.

>I have encountered no such "contradiction". TQM was NOT
>what he had in mind.

May be a misunderstanding? I guess I didn't made clear what I wanted to
say. I wrote:
>> When Deming stresses that TQM is not what he had in mind
>> and in fact contradicts what he had to say, then this is for me
>> a good example of what can happen.

I am sorry, I have to admit that this sentence is ununderstandable. I
should have written:As John Zavacki mentioned more than once on this list,
TQM is not what Deming had in mind. In fact, sometimes Demings intention
and TQM actions taken in practice contradict. Often TQM actions are
reduced to "measure variations" (or simply write a quality management
handbood and get certified). No understanding can be derived from such
measurements when there is no theory of knowledge in action on which such
understanding could be based. How is it possible that great
accomplishments like that of Deming are not only not understood but
thought to be understood while it is far away from the original thought?
This is not only simplification but even worse, distortion and pervertion.
And it happens every day.

Yet, if creative people could anticipate all the possible pervertion that
may be done to their creations, they probably will cease to be creative.

What I wanted to understand is whether similar development may happen to
the notion of a boundaryless organization compared to Ashkenas intention.
I just used the Deming - TQM example to illustrate the idea. The sketch
was too brief and ununderstandable. I apologize for that. The good thing
is that I realize that I have created an example of what I am talking
about online.

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

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