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Burning Man: Quality and Innovation in the Spirit of Deming

Summary: This article examines W. Edwards Deming's 14 points constituting his theory of management, in light of key forces shaping the future of quality in the early 20th century. To do this, the authors explore the philosophy of the Burning Man event, an annual gathering of approximately 50,00 people in the desert of northwestern Nevada. In 2004, founder Larry Harvey defined the 10 principles of Burning Man as radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. The 10 principles of Burning Man act as an informal social contract for the participants in its events, providing a guide for how to relate to one another in the pursuit of shared goals. The authors see the 10 principles as relevant to the quality profession because they embrace the essence of Deming's 14 points within the context and spirit of radical, socially responsible innovation.

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  • Topics: Innovation
  • Keywords: Deming's 14 points, W. Edwards Deming, Deming, Deming philosophy, Innovation, Values, Collaboration, Quality and participation, Creativity
  • Author: Radziwill, Nicole M.; Benton, Morgan C.;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation