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« Fact of the Day | Main | Sexual Selection and Fashion »

October 11, 2003

Quote of the Day

Friedrich --

It is easy to lose ourselves in efficiency, to treat that efficiency as an end in itself and not as a means to other ends.

-- Management theorist Charles Handy (an interview with whom can be read here.)



posted by Michael at October 11, 2003


My criticism--as a business owner and manager--of movements like Total Quality Management ("TQM") is exactly same, substituting the word quality for efficiency.

There was a management strategy book a few years ago that quite helpfully reduced the subject down to three paradigms--i.e., companies that depended on being low cost producers of commodity products, companies that depended on integrated into the internal workings of their customers ("customer intimacy"), and companies that depended on being highly innovative. Efficiency may well be the main tentpole principle in a low-cost producer; quality may be the main tentpole principle when pursuing customer intimacy; but neither has much to do with companies trying to be a cutting-edge innovator.

Which, of course, is the situation of most enterprises in the cultural sphere...!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on October 11, 2003 3:24 PM

Total Quality Management is one of those good ideas that was completely subverted in the USA. It's really about accountablility.

Anyway, nice link - though Handy is too easy on business schools.

Posted by: j.c. on October 15, 2003 5:08 PM

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