Photo of W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Economics

For his forceful promotion of statistical methodology, for his contributions to sampling theory and for his advocacy to corporations and nations of a general management philosophy that has resulted in improved product quality with consequent betterment of products available to users as well as more efficient corporate performance.

W. Edwards Deming was an adviser, consultant, author, and teacher to some of the most influential businessmen, corporations and scientific pioneers of quality control, and is the most widely known proponent of statistical quality control. He is most notably attributed with inspiring and guiding the rise of Japanese industry after World War II, and the resurgence of the American automobile industry in the late 1980s.

Deming was trained as a physicist and teacher in academia for more than half a century. He published hundreds of original papers, articles and books covering a wide range of interrelated subjects—from statistical variance, to systems and systems thinking, to human psychology.

Many of Deming’s key teachings were published in his 1982 book, Quality, Productivity and Competitive Position. Deming’s tireless quest for the “truth” and unwavering belief in “continual improvement” led to a set of 14 transformational points that changed the way many think about quality, management and leadership. His management philosophies cultivate improved product quality and more efficient corporate practices, and are still influential in business today.

By Jennifer Santisi