The Pygmalion Effect on Quality


Sargent, Terry R.   (1986, ASQC)   Westinghouse Electric Corp., Baltimore, MD

40th Annual Quality Congress, May 1986, Anaheim, CA    Vol. 40    No. 0
QICID: 3153    May 1986    pp. 24-30
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Article Abstract

People. A resource that is common to each and everyone of us. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Each one is unique unto itself and offers attributes of varying desirability. People are the one and only resource common to each of our industries that we all use (usually to excess) but leave virtually untapped.The Pygmalion Effect is a much talked about but little believed theory regarding human behavior. Actions are seldom implemented based on its belief. The impact of one person upon another can be anywhere between devastating and exhilarating, depending on the atmosphere. The quality of our products is not protected from the Pygmalion Effect. Moreover, the quality of our products could easily be enhanced by its use. Consequently, the Effect must be dealt with and used to our advantage.The purpose of this paper is to describe the Pygmalion Effect, its impact on people and quality, display quantitative results from its usage, and explain what management must do to make it work for them.It will also delineate the assumptions, perceptions and limiting actions of those in management and how we can change these factors. Only through recognition and understanding can we be effective and successful. It is the intent of this paper to make this possible for the reader.


Human resources (HR),Quality management (QM)

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