W. Edwards Deming Quotes

The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good. ... The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise.

Deming was the greatest management expert in the world. In Japan, the highest medal the government gives is the Deming Medal. He and most others have observed that merit pay tends to sound terrific to almost all, but in practice the effect on morale and productivity becomes negative and counterproductive over time. The weakness seems to be in the validity of the assessment of performance. See Ramona Arnett {619264}

W. Edwards Deming, 1900-1993, Management Expert, <em>Out of the Crisis</em>, 1982

Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations

W. Edwards Deming
W. Edwards Deming
  • Born: October 14, 1900
  • Died: December 20, 1993
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Scientist

William Edwards Deming was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant. Educated initially as an electrical engineer and later specializing in mathematical physics, he helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In his book, The New Economics for Industry, Government, and Education, Deming championed the work of Walter Shewhart, including statistical process control, operational definitions, and what Deming called the "Shewhart Cycle" which had evolved into Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA). This was in response to the growing popularity of PDCA, which Deming viewed as tampering with the meaning of Shewhart's original work. Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in August 1950 at the Hakone Convention Center in Tokyo, when Deming delivered a speech on what he called "Statistical Product Quality Administration". Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second-largest economy in the world through processes partially influenced by the ideas Deming taught:

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