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Ethics: a pencil case

Ethics: a pencil case In the economic aftermath of the Second World War, the people of the Asian Pacific Rim, having been traumatized by that war, were both intimidated by a US presence and thereafter threatened by a Communist takeover. Starting in Japan and extending through the nations of the Five Tigers of South‐East Asia, the “quality movement” gained an unstoppable momentum. This “quality movement” tsunami swept over the USA, propelled by the power of NBC’s nationally televised broadcast, If Japan Can, Why Can’t We? Americans were chagrined to learn that one of their own, Dr W. Edwards Deming, was riding the crest of the wave. The Protestant work ethics and Taylor’s model of efficiency were both swept aside by the power of this wave. However, in Asian industrial parks producing six sigma quality, the ethical underpinning of the people generating the wave was a desire to emulate an ethical mastery which they believed was exhibited by the USA. How was this belief generated? It was generated by US movies, not by the story line, but by what was depicted in the scene. Largely this depiction was enhanced by the Americans who opened their in‐country electronic production plants. Whether attributed to Deming or not, his philosophy dominated the manner and method of how these plants operated. Deming’s “quality movement” deeply and profoundly affected the lives of all who came in contact with what is now believed by many to be a moral and ethical philosophy of work. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History (Archive) Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1355-252X
DOI
10.1108/13552529910290548
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the economic aftermath of the Second World War, the people of the Asian Pacific Rim, having been traumatized by that war, were both intimidated by a US presence and thereafter threatened by a Communist takeover. Starting in Japan and extending through the nations of the Five Tigers of South‐East Asia, the “quality movement” gained an unstoppable momentum. This “quality movement” tsunami swept over the USA, propelled by the power of NBC’s nationally televised broadcast, If Japan Can, Why Can’t We? Americans were chagrined to learn that one of their own, Dr W. Edwards Deming, was riding the crest of the wave. The Protestant work ethics and Taylor’s model of efficiency were both swept aside by the power of this wave. However, in Asian industrial parks producing six sigma quality, the ethical underpinning of the people generating the wave was a desire to emulate an ethical mastery which they believed was exhibited by the USA. How was this belief generated? It was generated by US movies, not by the story line, but by what was depicted in the scene. Largely this depiction was enhanced by the Americans who opened their in‐country electronic production plants. Whether attributed to Deming or not, his philosophy dominated the manner and method of how these plants operated. Deming’s “quality movement” deeply and profoundly affected the lives of all who came in contact with what is now believed by many to be a moral and ethical philosophy of work.

Journal

Journal of Management History (Archive)Emerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 1999

Keywords: Deming; Quality; Ethics

References