Generalized Quality -- Abstracting a Model of General Globalizations of a Body of Knowledge -- Quality -- From History of the Total Quality Movement and Applying It to Non-Quality Bodies of Knowledge to Handle Many Forms of Complexity
Journal of Policy Studies, Vol. 32, 2009
52 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2009
Research Questions: 1. How did the total quality management movement treat the body of knowledgenamed “quality” so that it achieved more quality outcomes than prior professional treatment of the same body of knowledge? 2. Can the same abstract operators that TQM applied to quality knowledge be applied to other bodies of knowledge with similar great results? We have in recent history a body of knowledge -- quality -- handled by a very unusual, in history, set of what is called here “globalizations” of that body of knowledge, with the result immense improvements in quality all over the industrial world by dozens of nations and millions of firms. These globalizations may represent a new way of handling bodies of knowledge that replace our older “professional” ways of handling them. This paper uses extremely abstract frameworks to identify all operations on quality knowledge involved in the history of the global total quality movement, categorized by each of many “globalizations.” It then examines in what if scenarios the application of these operations to other bodies of knowledge, to see what improvements in application of them might be practically realized. The paper also serves as a very abstract overall history of total quality thought, gurus, and methods.
Method: 1. Search hundreds of books for statements on sources of complexity and categorize them into a model of a few dozen categories; search hundreds of books for statements on how the total quality movement treated the body of knowledge named “quality” and categorize them into a model of 36 “globalizations.” 2. Sources of complexity and traditional ways of handling it are summarized to define very abstractly the overall goal of handling knowledge as done in the total quality movement. 3. The history of treatment of quality knowledge by the total quality movement is surveyed and summarized as 36 “globalizations.” 4. In the process of doing 1,2, and 3 immediately above, a model of 256 systems effects, from over 24 academic fields of research is presented, summarizing hundreds of books on topics touching on system effects and general non-linearities in systems.
This paper presents a model of sources of complexity and traditional ways of handling it. It then presents one particularly powerful way of handling all forms of complexity in that model, namely, globalizations of a particular body of knowledge found in the total quality movement. It presents a generalization of this way of handling complexity by globalizing bodies of knowledge and examines the possibility of applying this generalized model to bodies of knowledge other than quality knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to establish a correct historical model of how quality was globalized in various ways, abstract away quality-related contents from that model, to get generalized operators, that might be apply-able to other bodies of knowledge, besides quality knowledge, to extend their capability of handling the forms of complexity summarized in the model that starts off this paper. Which source and way of handling complexity each globalization applies to is indicated in a fi nal model at the conclusion of the paper. Passive sources of complexity that work by shrinking scope of actions and actors in the face of situational complexity and active sources of complexity that work by making situations generate surprising effects, both categorized by mental and social contents, are presented, along with traditional means of handling them, either by scaling up the scope of human actors and actions or by scaling down the amount of situation faced. A 30 year sequence of globalizations of one body of knowledge, quality knowledge, that vastly extended the amount and types of complexity that quality efforts in businesses could handle well is then examined, in order to abstract from it generalized globalization operations that might be applied to other bodies of knowledge, besides quality, in order to enable them to similarly handle well large amounts and varieties of complexity. The result of this paper is this generalized model of a sequence of globalizations that can be applied to many bodies of knowledge to make them capable of handling better the forms of complexity in this paper’s model. Along the way this paper presents the most comprehensive models yet published of types of non-linear system effects in society, diverse forms of social diversity, and various emergent new forms of computational system.
Result: 36 globalizations that can be applied to any body of knowledge and several dozen sources of complexity with a mapping showing which globalizatons reduce which sources of complexity. This model is a hypothesis, derived from categorizing thousands of statements about how quality knowledge was handled in the total quality movement.
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