The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Myron Tribus Interview of Homer Sarasohn

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This video shows Myron Tribus interviewing Homer Sarasohn in 1988. This post is fairly tangential to the normal scope of this blog but I find it interesting. Largely it is about efforts to rebuild the Japanese economy after the devastation of World War II. Obviously W. Edwards Deming was involved in this effort and his work played a significant role in his life and the refinement of his ideas on management. If you think you might also find it interesting, listen to this interview:

Homer Sarasohn talks about his time in Japan after World War II working to rebuild the industrial base of Japan. Homer focused on the communication industry.

Not only don’t we find any facilities, we find no managers…

The devastation after World War II is hard to imagine. In order to re-build the economy they needed to also re-build management expertise. As with most history you need to place the actions Saron’s mentions in the context of the situation at the time. What was appropriate in the first year or two after the war is not the same that would be sensible today or even 5 years after the rebuilding had begun.

Homer Sarasohn:

quality control was not a phenomenon of manufacturing but rather it was a dedication of management.

There are still many people that don’t appreciate this truth.

Myron Tribus served as the director of the Center for Advanced Engineering Study at MIT from 1974 to 1986 (when they published Out of the Crisis). My guess is that Myron is best know in the Deming community for his work with David Langford and applying Deming’s ideas to Education. We published a guest post by Myron’s daughter on Using Control Charts to Aid in Improving the Classroom Learning Environment.

Related: My First Trip To Japan by Peter ScholtesSpeech by Dr. Deming to Japanese Business Leaders in 1950Educate New Managers on Their New Responsibilities

If this topic interests you, you may also want to read Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John Dower (a long-time family friend). Embracing Defeat won honored with the 1999 National Book Award (USA) and the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.


Categorised as: video


One Comment

  1. Monta Akin says:

    I’ve never seen this video. Just started watching and what I’ve seen so far is fascinating. Warmed my heart to see my mentor Myron. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Monta

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