The Role of Profound Knowledge in the Continual Improvement of Quality

John C. Anderson, Kevin J. Dooley, Susan D.A. Misterek, Susan D.A. Misterek, Kevin J. Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Profound knowledge, as espoused by W. Edwards Deming, is a much-needed and sought-after element in the workings of continual improvement within business organizations. This paper explores the concept of profound knowledge, first by seeing how Deming's use of the term interacts with concepts behind his 14 points to management, and then by expanding the concept of profound knowledge to a broader perspective. Profound knowledge is presented as the requisite intelligence needed to implement the scientific method, or the PDSA cycle, for continual improvement of quality. The paper draws upon the fields of cognitive psychology, statistical and scientific theory, organizational behavior and theory, and systems theory in forming its conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-259
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Systems Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Knowledge
  • Learning
  • Process improvement
  • Quality


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