TQM & LOs LO11281

Durval Muniz de Castro (durval@ia.cti.br)
Thu, 05 Dec 1996 08:16:19 -0800

Replying to LO11257 --

Bbcompton@aol.com wrote:

> I would like to think we should measure our theories -- and to some extent
> the numbers we use to measure our work (including financial measurements)
> are reflective of how accurate our theories are -- but I find no practical
> way of doing this.
> To me the purpose of numbers is to provide confirming or disconfirming
> information to an organization; they should not dictate the organizations
> velocity (their direction as well as their speed).

We generally associate measurement with quantification, but maybe these
two things can be dissociated.

Churchman, in "The Systems Approach", defines measurement as an
association between a symbol and a phenomenon which is independent of the
observer. This definition includes measurement with numbers and
"qualitative" measurement as well. Then, maybe we can say that we measure
our theories when we test them.

I system dynamics modelling, we quantify things that we cannot measure,
like morale or knowledge. This is necessary to build meaningful models,
and the models can be tested through relationships that can be observed
and confirmed.


Durval Muniz de Castro <durval@ia.cti.br>
Fundacao Centro Tecnologico para Informatica <http://www.ia.cti.br/>
Campinas - Brasil - Fone: 55-19-2401011 - Fax: 55-19-2402029

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>