Experience alone, without theory, teaches management nothing about what to do to improve quality and competitive position, nor how to do it. If experience alone would be a teacher, then one may well ask why are we in this predicament?
Deming 1982 ‘Out of the Crisis’ (First MIT edition 2000 p19)
‘There is no substitute for knowledge’
Deming WE 1994 ‘The New Economics: For Industry, Government, Education’ MIT Press: Massachusetts p2
Without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence without theory, there is no learning. Theory is a window on the world. Theory leads to prediction. Without prediction, experience and examples teach nothing. To copy an example of success, without understanding it with the aid of a theory, may lead to disaster.
Deming WE 1994 ‘The New Economics: For Industry, Government, Education’ MIT Press: Massachusetts p103