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April 24, 2013

Learning from W.E. Deming’s Management Expertise

by besshundley3

 Today in class we talked about W.E. Deming’s expertise regarding management and went over his 7 deadly sins. One of his 7 deadly sins is the mobility of management. He was concerned about the issue of mobility of management in the 1980s and it has become increasingly more prevalent in today’s business world. The mobility of management refers to the phenomenon of workers frequently “job hopping” around and not staying with the same company for a long period of time. This is especially common today among large corporations where high-level executives are constantly moving around various c-suites in the executive realm. The reason Deming states this phenomenon as a sin is because workers fail to hold a long-term viewpoint for the firm and focus on short-term benefits. Short-term employees’ brief period of stay can inhibit their desire to contribute extra efforts to the company which discourages innovation.

 There was an article in today’s Wall Street Journal about a couple of key retiring board members at Coca Cola. These two board members have been with the company for a substantial amount of time and have had immense impact on the company’s strategy. Given Coca Cola’s tremendous success under these board members’ leadership, I’d say their consistent management has paid off. The WSJ article goes on to discuss how Coca Cola is undergoing a “changing of the guard” because new and younger board members will soon enter into the picture. These younger, newer figures have ideas for taking on different strategies to tackle changing consumer preferences and other challenges in the marketplace. I agree that changing consumer preferences must be addressed but I think Coca Cola needs to be very careful in averting “a changing of the guard” attitude in order to avoid a rift between the old guard and the new guard. The company has been successful with their steady management practices and should be wary of the dangers of mobility of management.

 Bess Hundley 


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