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Research Papers on W. Edwards Deming

Deming research papers point out that W. Edwards Deming's philosophy and concepts regarding quality have become integral to the modern work environment in both the public and private sectors. His focus lay primarily in the work process itself, which he viewed as a system driven by a joint effort between management and labor to create high quality goods and services that improve the quality of life. The key to success in any organized undertaking is an appreciation of the value of quality. To help organizations achieve quality, he developed universal guidelines that enabled the restructuring of the operations and production management aspects of the work process. In many respects, his methods reflected the changing social concepts of the late twentieth century towards technology, work and the means to reach organizational goals.

Deming's Philosophy

DemingDeming developed his philosophy and concepts by integrating his experience as a statistician with his observations of the management of production systems. Much of his talent lay in his ability to translate the statistical implications of quality control into broad yet reasonably concrete management concepts that enhanced the overall quality of the goods or services produced by any organization. His management method is essentially a multi-disciplinary blend of scientific observation, psychology, and business principles.

Deming - Quality, Not Sales

Deming believed that the primary purpose of an organization should be to produce goods and services that helped people to live better. In order to achieve this fundamental goal, management had to focus on quality and not on sales, balance sheets or other numerically based measure of success. These traditional measures generally looked backwards at an organization’s past, while quality management looked forward to an organization’s future.

Deming stressed that the creation of quality was not a static, one-time event in an organization, but a continuous process of change and improvement.  This change is witnessed in the following ways:

  1. Change could initially be achieved only by re-organizing the organization’s culture and processes so that all individuals concerned with the organization constantly strived toward quality.
  2. The system had to be continually examined and altered to insure that quality is maintained.  The outcome of this continuous quality improvement was not only a reduction in product variation and defects, but also an increase in innovation, which enabled an organization to stay ahead of its competition. 
  3. An effect of the pursuit of quality that Deming often stressed was a reduction of costs through the elimination of waste and re-work, which in turn enhanced profitability. 
  4. A concentration on quality enables a firm to meet all of the traditional objectives of increased sales, higher earnings and larger market share, while at the same time meeting the needs of its customers for high quality goods and services.

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