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“I shall teach...the theory of a system, and cooperation”

Henry R. Neave (Director of Education and Research, British Deming Association, University Park, Nottingham, and also Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, University of Nottingham, UK)

Training for Quality

ISSN: 0968-4875

Article publication date: 1 December 1996



Contends that Deming’s philosophy for management is imperfectly understood. Unlike just a few years ago, very many people have now heard of W. Edwards Deming, and know something of his philosophy for management. But “something” is, in most cases, far too little. His work is sometimes dismissed as “just statistics” or even as no more than statistical process control. Another common false impression is that his philosophy is “summarized by the 14 Points”. And one of the few things to continue to irritate him until his death in December 1993 was any attempt to connect him with “TQM”! Agrees that all such diminutions trivialize his legacy to us. His work was not only much larger than any of these imply: it was genuinely of a higher dimension. He said of the two books by his great mentor, Walter Shewhart, that a “century will pass before people in industry and in science begin to appreciate the contents of these great works”. The ominous truth is that the same could well be true of Deming’s own two great books on management. Fears that we cannot afford to wait that long.



Neave, H.R. (1996), "“I shall teach...the theory of a system, and cooperation”", Training for Quality, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 25-31.




Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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