Exploring the epistemological origins of Shewhart’s and Deming’s theory of quality: influences from C.I. Lewis’ conceptualistic pragmatism.
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the epistemological origin of Shewhart's and Deming's ideas in their development of a theory of quality. Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of a literature review. Findings – Walter. A. Shewhart's and W. Edwards Deming's ideas concerning a theory of quality originated not solely from insights about variation within statistics but also from the field of philosophy, particularly epistemology. Shewhart and Deming, both seen as quality pioneers, were strongly influenced by the conceptualistic pragmatist Clarence Irving Lewis and his theory of knowledge. This is, and has often been, a neglected connection; however, in today's competitive business environment knowledge and competence have become crucial success factors. Thus, the epistemologyrelated origin of their theory of quality has become increasingly interesting and important to explore. First, a summary version of Clarence Irving Lewis' theory of knowledge will be presented here as expressed in his work Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (1929). Second, examples of some important connections between Lewis, and chosen parts of Shewhart's and Deming's theory of quality will be given, for example the plandostudyact cycle, operational definitions and profound knowledge. It will also be indicated how the social element in knowledge is emphasised in the works of Lewis, Deming, and Shewhart. Originality/value – By exploring the epistemological background of Deming's and Shewhart's ideas of a theory of quality, it might be able to better comprehend the profound ideas they left behind and improve the understanding and use of their theory of quality today. © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Författare

Christina Mauléon

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Industriell kvalitetsutveckling

Bo Bergman

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Industriell kvalitetsutveckling

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

1756-6703 (ISSN) 1756-669X (eISSN)

Vol. 1 2 160-171

Ämneskategorier

Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi

DOI

10.1108/17566690910971436

Mer information

Skapat

2017-10-07