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Japan’s post‐war economic success: Deming, quality, and contextual realities

Japan’s post‐war economic success: Deming, quality, and contextual realities It is difficult to unravel the thread of W. Edwards Deming’s impact on the post‐war industrial recovery of Japan and its transformation from a manufacturer of shabby copies of Western goods to a pre‐eminent producer of high‐quality goods. His name is woven, however, into the fabric of Japanese industrial history. Deming helped launch a campaign for institutionalizing “quality control” within the Japanese manufacturing sector, which adopted a number of the terms and concepts he advocated. In fact, his pedagogical approach dovetailed perfectly with, and helped to provide a philosophical basis for, the infusion of quality as an intrinsic part of the production process. Most importantly, Deming was conveying these concepts on the eve of the “electronics revolution”, where unparalleled precision, cleanliness, and consistency of product were essential metrics determining success or failure. However, the true extent of Deming’s influence may never be known as it was caught up in the complex dynamics that characterized Japan’s industrial resurgence from the late 1940s through the 1980s. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History (Archive) Emerald Publishing

Japan’s post‐war economic success: Deming, quality, and contextual realities

Journal of Management History (Archive) , Volume 5 (8): 17 – Dec 1, 1999

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1355-252X
DOI
10.1108/13552529910290539
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It is difficult to unravel the thread of W. Edwards Deming’s impact on the post‐war industrial recovery of Japan and its transformation from a manufacturer of shabby copies of Western goods to a pre‐eminent producer of high‐quality goods. His name is woven, however, into the fabric of Japanese industrial history. Deming helped launch a campaign for institutionalizing “quality control” within the Japanese manufacturing sector, which adopted a number of the terms and concepts he advocated. In fact, his pedagogical approach dovetailed perfectly with, and helped to provide a philosophical basis for, the infusion of quality as an intrinsic part of the production process. Most importantly, Deming was conveying these concepts on the eve of the “electronics revolution”, where unparalleled precision, cleanliness, and consistency of product were essential metrics determining success or failure. However, the true extent of Deming’s influence may never be known as it was caught up in the complex dynamics that characterized Japan’s industrial resurgence from the late 1940s through the 1980s.

Journal

Journal of Management History (Archive)Emerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 1999

Keywords: Deming; Industry; Japan

References