This is the twelfth in a series of discussions of quality guru W. Edwards Deming's Fourteen Points of Quality and their ramifications on data quality. Here I describe Deming's quality point 8, "Drive Out Fear," a requirement for enabling sustainable data quality improvement. Deming's eighth point of quality addresses the fact that data producers cannot perform to their best unless they feel secure. Data quality will not be achieved unless data producers are free from fears of making mistakes or feel free to point out problems and suggest improvements to the processes. The eighth point of quality states, "Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company."1

"The economic loss from fear is appalling," Deming says.2 When people are afraid for their jobs, afraid of management, afraid of being punished for making mistakes, productivity suffers--and it suffers considerably. Fear in the workplace, no matter how subtle, does not improve productivity. In fact, fear drives people to counterproductive behavior. People who are afraid invest energy and take whatever action is necessary to remove the source of fear.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access