Today's leaders can and should draw on 'new' management knowledge accumulated, tested, and found to be true repeatedly since World War II. Though the current information-based economy is distinct from the manufacturing economy that preceded it, the management lessons learned since WWII continue to deliver results for 'new' leaders who apply them.
The strength of American industry during WWII was based on the tremendous scientific advances that had taken place during the preceding 50 years, and on the innovations of a generation of managers such as W. Edwards Deming who pioneered the use of statistical methods to maximize production while simultaneously improving quality controls. The American victory in WWII was to no small degree heavily influenced by America's strong industrial base and the innovative management knowledge that encouraged it to thrive.
After WWII when General Douglas MacArthur was struggling to rebuild Japan he remembered the miraculous transformation of American industry during the war and invited people such as Deming to Japan to work with its industrial leaders. The Japanese, convinced they had been defeated by industrial might rather than military prowess, wholeheartedly embraced the new techniques. Japan was able to use the new management techniques to transform itself from a second-rate industrial producer known for poor quality into an industrial superpower that soon after dominated many global manufacturing ...
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