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Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management

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Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management, William J. Latzko and David M. Saunders, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., One Jacob Way, Reading, MA 01867, 1995, 228 pp., $27.95.

This is an excellent book that covers the content of W. Edwards Deming's four-day course. It provides more than just his philosophy; the authors use quotes from Deming, their own explanations, and a fictional executive's voice to clarify Deming's philosophy and concepts. It closely follows Deming's course and provides numerous examples to clarify points. This book could be used for independent study or as a text for companywide training.

The book begins by showing the need for a transformation of Western management. The concept of profound knowledge is explained, followed by a discussion of Deming's 14 points. Each of the points is illustrated by a figure and examples. The red bead experiment is used to demonstrate how superstitious learning has led to Western management's current beliefs on how to run a company and treat employees. The authors then discuss the seven deadly diseases and 10 obstacles to getting the job done, which round out Deming's basic philosophy.

The rest of the book covers the funnel experiment to show the effects of tampering; the need for operational definitions in the management of people, leadership, and training; and a system of measurement. The authors' epilogue provides a brief answer to the often-asked question of what to do next. Discussion questions at the back of the book prompt readers to think about and explore the Deming philosophy in depth.

This book is written in a style reminiscent of the voice and speaking pace of Deming. People who have attended his lectures or watched his videotapes will recognize and appreciate this simple tribute to him.

Norman C. Frank, CER Corporation