The Mythology of American Management


Aganski, Paul   (1993, ASQC)   NA

Annual Quality Congress, Boston MA    Vol. 47    No. 0
QICID: 9975    May 1993    pp. 328-334
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Article Abstract

The new business myth is that everyone has a fair chance to compete and prosper. A myth is a story which explains a core truth. In the first half of the twentieth century, the myth of American business was to follow the Taylor industrial model and to preach "do as I say, not as I do." This myth explained the reality of American business having little competition. With the arrival of W. Edwards Deming in Japan after World War II, serious global competition began to emerge. Today, the old American business myths no longer work. Two types of business people can help our myths mature and change. These are the managers and the leaders, whose roles are different but often confused. Managers use available resources to improve the profit and loss statement. The world of management is two dimensional, where decisions are right or wrong, short term or long term, where movement is more important than direction, and where the focus is the company's product. Leaders recognize that there is a connection among employee compensation, productivity, self image, and self worth. Leadership is three dimensional. The leader makes choices on a continuum, focuses on process, and blazes trails that give direction. We already have good managers. We also need good leaders, for they will find ways to maximize profits and people, not choose between them.


Deming, W. Edwards,History,Human resources (HR),Leadership,Japan,Scientific management

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