It's not just semantics LO6256

John Paul Fullerton (
Wed, 27 Mar 1996 08:30:10 +0000

Dave said, LO6240

> Empowerment (one possible definition): The quality of the relationship
> between management and staff characterized by management's providing, and
> staff accepting, the authority, responsibility and resources necessary to
> perform a complete set of tasks.

In the last three months, I've watched the 16 Deming videotapes that MIT
published in 1982 or 1983. Related to the idea of "empowering" the
employee, Dr. Deming's emphasis highlights management's responsibility. It
is management's responsibility to find out what's wrong with the system.
How could the workers know? And management won't know either unless they
learn how to understand the system and understand it within statistical

Now, I didn't really say that! If you've ever heard him speak, that's kind
of a quote :)

He definitely wasn't looking for infinitely intelligent and knowledgeable
workers. He expected capable workers whose work would be improved if
management gave them the benefits of the "14 points". For example, he
mentions the importance of operational definitions and teaching people
what the effect is of their work on the system. I could possibly be wrong
about the "effect of their work on the system".

The main difference between empowerment and Deming's view of management is
that empowerment seems to be saying that we get a more lively bunch and
more creative work and less work for management if we empower these
people, and Dr. Deming says many times "how could they know?" How will
they know what is the best way or even a better way to do their work
without having eyes and mind dedicated to the task of finding that? The
emphasis on the need of control charts and other statistical means to even
understand what's going on around us is itself a learning experience. "You
mean that customers almost never say about our service what our mission
statement says?"

The implications for the learning organization is that the aspiration for
"learning everywhere" should be seen in the light of reality. How many
people are going to have observations that can guide the ship through
time? As the consultant who worked as a CEO said, the question from a
position of financial responsibility isn't the same.

Though it may sound like a duck I mean a defended position and be
defended like a defended position, these are "just some comments".
>From JPF or just plain folk as someone wrote recently!

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


"John Paul Fullerton" <>

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