「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2011年2月27日 星期日

應該是《怪醫豪斯》( Gregory House)

"自古東西方都將我們的身體看為一整體,所以有人說中醫醫學是「全體的、關連的」。戴明博士引聖保羅「身體一系統」之觀念[35]。即使如此,我們看公共電視台播放的影集《怪醫豪斯》(House) 影集,可以知道人體諸器官的互動和關係,真是複雜無比的。生物學和生態學的許多重要的控制論相關觀念,都是我們上一世紀的重要收穫。"系統與變異: 2010年戴明博士紀念研習會/ 東海的人生饗宴 晚宴

應該是《怪醫豪斯》( Gregory House)

中文版不及English 版多多矣: 格瑞利·豪斯(英語:Gregory House,1959年6月11日出生)是美國醫務電視連續劇《怪醫豪斯》(House)的虛構角色,為該劇的主角,由休·羅利飾演。 他是一個醫療天才,專攻傳染病及腎臟學。豪斯醫生似乎缺少臨床診斷的興趣,盡最大可能避免與病人直接接觸。豪斯因右腿失去了一大片肌肉部分,而必須依賴一根拐杖來行走。儘管他的舉動有些反社會或厭惡人類,豪斯醫生不受約束的非傳統思考方式和自覺,卻使他得到了同事的尊敬和包容。

胡適在1937年談過 國勢普查 (census)/ Walter Francis Willcox

胡適在1937年 6月13日 的 獨立評論 的 編輯後記 中談過 國勢普查 (census)
他引的 W. F. Willcox (年譜長編初稿 p.1593 姓氏拼錯) 是位名統計學家
參考後文 Wikipedia 關於 Walter Francis Willcox的介紹
我們可知道他在19世紀末1892 就在胡適以後就讀的康乃爾大學開統計課 (1890年 全美的大學 有16個統計課程)

不過 胡適在美國應該沒修過統計課
所以會說"現在的文明的國家之中 沒有舉行 國勢普查的 恐怕只有我們這個古國了.........究竟那一個數字對呢? 誰也沒有真實可靠的統計來解答
人口如此 其他必須依據人口為基礎的死亡率 人口增加率 文盲百分比 等等 當然都沒有確實數字了ㄅ......"

Walter Francis Willcox, Ph.D., LL.D. (March 22, 1861 – October 12, 1964)[1] was an American statistician. He was born in Reading, Massachusetts to William Henry Willcox and Anne Holmes Goodenow. He was graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1880; Amherst College in 1884 with an A.B. and in 1888 received and A.M. degree from Amherst College. He received an LL.B degree (1887) and a Ph.D. (1891) from Columbia. In 1906 he received an honorary LL.D. degree from Amherst College.[2]

He was a Cornell University faculty member from 1891 to 1931 within the President White School of History and Political Science. He held the presidency of the American Statistical Association in 1911-12 and of the American Economic Association in 1915. As well as essays and magazine articles, he published The Divorce Problem, A Study in Statistics (1891; second edition, 1897), and Supplementary Analysis and Derivative Tables, twelfth census (1906).

Willcox initiated the first statistics course at Cornell in 1892, one of the earliest university courses in statistics in the United States, and one among 16 universities with such courses in the 1890s.[3] His research interest was in vital statistics. Emil Julius Gumbel described his body of work, collected in Studies in American Demography, as "the type of old-fashioned writings which will continu e to be of value notwithstanding all progress achieved in mathematical statistics." [4]

[edit] Publications

  • Studies in American Demography, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press (1940).
  • International Migrations, Volume II: Interpretations (Editor), New York: National Bureau of Economic Research (1931).
  • Walter Francis Willcox papers, #14-10-504. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rice, Stuart A (1964). "Walter Francis Willcox March 28, 1861 - October 30, 1964". Revue de l'Institut International de Statistique / Review of the International Statistical Institute (International Statistical Institute (ISI)) 32 (3): 340–346. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1401885. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  2. ^ Leonard, William R.; Leonard, William R (1961). "Walter Francis Willcox: Statist". The American Statistician (American Statistical Association) 15 (1): 16–19. doi:10.2307/2682503. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2682503. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
  3. ^ Leonard, W.R.. Op. Cit.: 16.
  4. ^ Gumbel, E.J. (1941). "Review of Studies in American Demography". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (American Academy of Political and Social Science) 218 (1): 239. http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/218/1/239. Retrieved 2010-05-31.

2011年2月26日 星期六

The Deming of America (DVD) By Priscilla Petty


Petty Consulting Productions
Priscilla Petty* is the Producer and On-Camera Interviewer for
The Deming of America
the Public Television program and business training video
W. Edwards Deming's
Principles of Management and Philosophy of Quality

Photo of Priscilla Petty

Contact Priscilla Petty
About W. Edwards Deming
About The Deming of America
About Priscilla Petty

View One Minute Clips from the Program:
W. Edwards Deming:
'Adversarial competition is not the answer'
W. Edwards Deming: 'Defend your rights, you lose'
W. Edwards Deming: 'Banks do not fail because of mistakes at the teller's window'
Don Petersen, retired CEO, Ford: Petersen talks about the power of Continuous Improvement
Don Petersen, retired CEO, Ford: 'Everything we do, we do through people'
W. Edwards Deming: 'Everybody's doing his best, with the greatest of intentions'
W. Edwards Deming: 'How could they (management) know?'
W. Edwards Deming: 'Management's job is optimization of the whole system'
W. Edwards Deming: 'Deming's second theorem'
Don Petersen, retired CEO, Ford: 'Difficult times provide opportunity for trying change'
David Kearns, retired CEO, Xerox: 'When Dr. Deming initially came here (to Xerox), he was really tough on us'
Robert Stempel, retired CEO, GM: 'When most people come to work...they really want to do a good job'


The Deming of America
Photos of Dr. Deming and Priscilla Petty Buy the DOA dvd 2 button

Newly released on DVD, Priscilla Petty's The Deming of America is offered at the introductory price of $95. Free U.S.P.S. shipping in the U.S. (Fed Ex and UPS at cost). Regular price, $110.

The Deming of America is one of the best leadership and transformation videos ever produced!” says one consultant.

Our nation must work once again to come out of our crisis. We're challenged by global and local events. But the proven strategies in this DVD can help our country transform and innovate. Dr. W. Edwards Deming is shown at his unrehearsed best at his home, at a seminar, and in thought-provoking specially selected segments from an all-day interview with Priscilla. Brief remarks from Fortune 100 CEOs, who learned from Deming, show how he affected their thinking about their lives and companies as he worked with them to effect the transformation. Inspiring. Produced in 1991 by Petty Consulting Productions.

The Deming of America provides an overview of Dr. Deming's theory of management and was first seen on public television stations across the nation. The program shows Deming the man, focuses on his ideas, makes his message easy to understand, and shows how corporate and military leaders are using his concepts. Most people, after viewing the video, know that Dr. Deming's message is valid -- not because of how persuasive he is -- but because his message makes so much sense and, once understood, seems intuitive.

The Deming of America is 57 minutes long and features highlights with Dr. Deming, gleaned from an all-day, unscripted, unrehearsed interview with Priscilla Petty plus visits with him in his home. Also featured are:
Highlights of interviews with government, corporate and Navy leadership:
Wiliam E. Brock, then Secretary of Labor and former U.S. Senator
David Kearns, then Chairman of Xerox
John Pepper, then President of Procter & Gamble
Donald Petersen, retired Chairman and CEO of Ford
Brian Rowe, then Senior VP, Head of GE Aircraft Engines
Robert Stempel, then Chairman and CEO of General Motors
J. Daniel Howard, then Under Secretary of the Navy
Admiral Jerry Johnson, then Vice Chief of Naval Operations
Directors of Quality at Ford, General Motors and Procter & Gamble
Others who knew Deming
Deming at his home in Washington, D.C.; in his basement office; in his garden
Deming at one of his seminars
Deming at Dulles airport
Historical photos of Deming in Japan

The Deming of America video program is the result of more than two years of effort by Priscilla Petty and her organization. Prior to meeting Dr. Deming, Ms. Petty had written a weekly syndicated newspaper column focusing on management techniques and improving personal effectiveness at work for about ten years. The Vice Chairman of Procter and Gamble insisted that she meet Dr. Deming because of the impact Dr. Deming had had on his company and arranged for the meeting. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Petty met with Dr. Deming in his Washington home, accompanied and introduced by Procter and Gamble's Director of Quality. Ms. Petty immediately recognized the profound importance of Dr. Deming's message and accepted Dr. Deming's invitation to remain in Washington at his home and accompany him to New York in a few days while he consulted with companies, taught his course at NYC and lectured at Columbia. Ms. Petty's vision for the public television special gradually evolved over the next several months as she accompanied Dr. Deming on numerous business consulting trips and to his four day seminars. She not only saw his genius at work as he privately consulted with numerous corporate leaders and during the seminars, she had countless hours of private discussions about his theories and philosophies. She was continually asking questions and listening, learning, while they traveled on planes, ate meals, and at the end of each day. After about eight months, Ms. Petty shared her vision with Dr. Deming and he agreed to cooperate. Then the work began.

她還是個專欄作者 2/26日在 American Thinker 有篇"你的錢是諸政客的"

February 26, 2011

Your Money Belongs To Politicians

By Priscilla Petty

If I had to pinpoint one single way in which our country has gone astray, I'd say that it's when we allowed politicians to manipulate the tax code to benefit those whom they favor. There are many ways, of course, in which our country's trajectory has taken a downward rather than upward turn, but politicians' control of individual citizens' money, their taking great quantities of it as though it actually belonged to the politicians to use for their own benefit and for politicians' chosen purposes, has bankrupted us not only fiscally but morally.

The other day our two-year-old threw a dollar bill into the gas fireplace. It was snowing outside and perhaps he had a reason for his action. I don't know what it was or why he did it. In like manner our politicians daily throw our dollar bills into the fire and I cannot fathom why they take such actions. I suspect that they know nothing more about the true value of a dollar than the two-year-old. Since it's not the politicians' own money perhaps they feel that they have no obligation to be good stewards of it; it's just paper and burning it is okay. But it's no longer okay with productive U.S. citizens.

Politicians have derived their power over you from control of your money. As politicians have taxed -- and excused from taxes by awarding favors or exclusions -- they have changed the nature of doing business in this country. It's no longer a straightforward idea: make a product which delights the customer and sell it at a profit so you can stay in business. Instead it's constant uneasiness and worry on the part of businesses, large and small, about the ways in which government will interfere with a business's ability to survive and continue to hire employees. How can any thinking business person plan ahead when politicians have taken away from them the ability to project business plans ahead? How can a business prosper when business leaders must make business decisions based on potential ever-changing tax policy? Politicians are so unknowing that they don't understand that stability of tax rules and of regulations is necessary for a system to work. Politicians fail to look at the whole system but focus on the pieces. The business which does not take into account the vagaries and whims of today's U.S. government will not survive economically.

This is to say nothing of the arcane and complex rules and regulations concerning the right to do business in the U.S. Someone said that we are always breaking some law every day. How could we not? Take politicians' desires to control all aspects of our lives through taxation and rules and combine them with the whims of bureaucrats and we have disaster. I can remember long ago reading Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago and marveling at the awful situation in which the protagonist found himself as he tried to navigate the Russian and then the Soviet corrupt bureaucracies. Now I find that the U.S. has arrived at the same point as the old Soviet Union. Our politicians have taken us to the Orwellian point of Newspeak and Doublethink. Politicians, and especially Mr. Obama, somehow have come to think that we will believe them when they speak bureaucratese. But the American people have awakened and thinking people have found each other via the internet. We will continue to communicate, past the talking political heads, and the day may come when we band together.

When we understand as a group all of the power grabs the politicians have pulled off, especially those concerning their control of our money, then we might choose to elect those who understand that monetary and tax actions have consequences, sometimes unintended. We need smarter, more honorable politicians who have learned to listen to the voice of the working, productive people. We need politicians who tax for the public good, not for their own ideological aims. We need politicians who are just better overall than the generally self-interested and corrupt group who have for too long inhabited our nation's capital.

Leo Tolstoy commented that "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six" and also in 1886 in What Then Must We Do? he wrote, "I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means-except by getting off his back."

We need politicians to get their hands off our money, get off our backs, and stop treating us as though they have the carrot and we're the donkey. We've grown those carrots and they belong to us.


2011年2月22日 星期二

我對QKC (知識社群)的一些看法

我趁這機會談談 我對 林公孚先生的"三個大哉問" 的看法
複本送:陳教授寬仁 與趙老師
陳老師曾說 我是獨行俠 這多少有點誤會
而趙老師是qcrg 中期的一主委

照理說 "研究發展小組"似乎很少作用了 或許 qkc 多少可分點工作
然而qkc 沒有"理事長"或學會的真正物質上和制度上的資源/支員
而交換的東西 可能因為每人的品味的差異
以及他對"知識" "共同體" 的看法之不同而有差異

總而言之 qkc的大作為與無作為之間
在建立共同體的向心力和認同上 稍加強
而在建立知識上 要大加強
所以我建議qkc 弄個稍為高水準的網頁 (60分 目前學會的為10分)




2011年2月18日 星期五

Alfred P. Sloan Jr.

Alfred P. Sloan Jr.

Alfred Sloan, 187, 203, 205, 211, 461;《我在通用汽車的日子》(My Years with General Motors), 204 系統與變異: 淵博知識與理想設計法 (2010) 的索引 (1) a-e

February 18, 1966

Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Dead at 90; G.M. Leader and Philanthropist


Alfred P. Sloan Jr., who shaped the General Motors Corporation into one of the world's largest manufacturing enterprises, died of a heart attack yesterday afternoon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center here. He was 90 years old.

Mr. Sloan had been in excellent health until Tuesday, when he complained of not feeling well. He was taken to the hospital, which his philanthropy helped to establish, on Wednesday afternoon from his home at 820 Fifth Avenue. He succumbed yesterday at 2:35 P.M.

With him at the hospital was his brother, Raymond P., special lecturer in the School of Public Health and Hospital Administration of Columbia University.

Mr. Sloan was acclaimed last night as one of the great captains of industry of his age, not alone for his managerial skills but also for the pioneering automotive advances that he oversaw. These included four-wheel brakes, ethyl gasoline, crankcase ventilation and knee-action front springs.

In a joint statement Frederic G. Donner, chairman of General Motors, and James W. Roche, its president, said:

"His contributions to science and education and those of the foundation that bears his name were matched only by his accomplishments in business and industry."

Mr. Sloan made his mark, his associates said, "as a planner, organizer and administrator."

Roy Abernathy, president of the American Motors Corporation, called Mr. Sloan "the most advanced practitioner of modern management of our time."

A friend in the industry, Lynn A. Townsend, president of the Chrysler Corporation, said last night that Mr. Sloan's "services to our nation and our industry cannot be measured."

In Detroit, Henry Ford 2d, chairman of the Ford Motor Company, extolled Mr. Sloan as "one of the small handful of men who actually made automotive history."

"Under his leadership," Mr. Ford said, "General Motors developed from a loosely organized group of companies into the present highly efficient giant corporation."

At his death Mr. Sloan was honorary chairman of General Motors, and in this capacity he had attended a board of directors meeting here last month. Associates who talked with him then said yesterday that he participated in the session with his usual acuity.

Mr. Sloan headed General Motors as president and then chairman from 1923 to 1956.

His Work, His Hobby, His Love

In the nineteen-thirties when Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr. was chief executive officer of the General Motors Corporation a friend told him that a man of his position ought to own a yacht. After some hesitation, the slim, dandily dressed industrialist agreed and bought a 236-footer for $1 million.

He incorporated it, christened it Rene, hired a crew of 43 at an annual cost of $119,609 and embarked on a few cruises. But life afloat quickly bored him, and the yacht was virtually laid up until he sold it in 1941 to the Maritime Commission for $175,000.

This nautical flying was notable in Mr. Sloan's life because it was one of the few ventures that did not turn a handsome profit and because it was a leisure-time caper. Indeed, it was perhaps his only frivolity, for Mr. Sloan did not smoke, rarely drank, read little for pleasure and never engaged in golf or any other sport. A functional, frill-less man, he was convinced that sports were a waste of a man's time.

Such dissipations, moreover, interfered with his work, his hobby, his love--the running of General Motors. Even in retirement, when Mr. Sloan was administering his multimillion dollar medical and educational benefactions, his sole relaxation was an evening's television watching.

When Mr. Sloan became vice president of operations of General Motors in 1920 the company accounted for less than 12 percent of motor vehicle sales in the nation; when he stepped down as chairman in 1956 its share was 52 per cent. Moreover, General Motors had expanded into one of the world's largest companies. It was also among the most profitable and, operationally, one of the smoothest.

These accomplishments were credited to Mr. Sloan's management policies. He centralized administration and decentralized operations, grouping together those that had a common relationship. He also realigned the company's products so that one brand of automobiles did not conflict with another. Each product--cars, electric iceboxes or whatever--was set apart in its own division. It was part of Mr. Sloan's genius that he was familiar with every detail of each division.

Along Staff Lines

In his 14 years as president of General Motors (1923-37) and in almost 20 years as chairman of the board (1937-56) Mr. Sloan ran the company on the staff principle, with himself as chief. But despite the eminence of his position he did not comport himself like an autocrat, nor did he hoot and holler. (He was known throughout the organization as "Silent Sloan.") He also refrained from ordering underlings about.

"I never give orders," Mr. Sloan once said. "I sell my ideas to my associates if I can. I accept their judgment if they convince me, as they frequently do, that I am wrong. I prefer to appeal to the intelligence of a man rather than attempt to exercise authority over him."

An associate likened him to a roller bearing--"self-lubricating, smooth, eliminates friction and carries the load." A typical workday bore out this portrayal.

Mr. Sloan arrived at his office in the General Motors Building, 1775 Broadway (at 57th Street) at 9:30 A.M. (In winter he drove from his 14-room apartment on Fifth Avenue; in summer he commuted to Pennsylvania Station from his 25 acres in Great Neck, L.I., and rode the subway to West 59th Street.)

Father Was Well-to-Do

With metronomic precision he ticked off the day's conferences. He was restless, squirming in his chair, gesturing, putting his small, well-shod feet on the table. When he talked, it was in a quiet voice that curled out of the side of his mouth with a trace of a Brooklyn accent. When he listened, it was with the extra intentness of the deaf.

By 5:30 he was ready to depart for home with a briefcase under his arm; and after dinner with his wife he usually worked for a few hours and was in bed at 10 o'clock. Two weeks a month he spent in Detroit, where he rarely stirred out of the gray G.M. building, not even to a hotel.

Summarizing his recipe for success, Mr. Sloan said:

"Get the facts. Recognize the equities of all concerned. Realize the necessity of doing a better job every day. Keep an open mind and work hard. The last is most important at all. There is no short cut."

He was born in New Haven on May 23, 1875. His father was a well-to-do coffee and tea importer, and later a wholesale grocer. The Sloans moved to 240 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, when Alfred Jr., was 10. He attended public school until he was 11, when he entered Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute where he established a reputation as a prodigy in mechanics and engineering. At 17 he enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and by grinding away every possible minute he graduated in three years.

With his father's help Alfred got a draftsman's job in the Hyatt Roller Bearing Company at Harrison, N. J. The company was not doing very well, but Alfred had confidence that it could be made to show a profit. He persuaded his father and another man to put up $5,000 and place him in control. In the first six months the business yielded $12,000 in profits.

It was the automotive industry, however, that made the company's fortune. Automakers had been using a heavily greased wagon axle until Mr. Sloan persuaded the Olds Motors Company to try his bearings. Henry Ford and the other manufacturers soon followed suit, and Hyatt Bearing started making money hand over fist.

By 1916 the company was doing a gross business of $10-million a year and making profits as high as $4-million. Of equal importance, Mr. Sloan had made a name for himself in Detroit as a knowledgeable and reliable business man with keen insights into the auto industry.

His First $5-Million

By that year General Motors, replacing Ford, had become Mr. Sloan's largest customer, and there was some hint that it might make its own bearings. Instead, General Motors, which had been stitched together from several independent auto concerns by the mercurial William Crapo Durant, bought Hyatt for $13.5-million.

He promptly merged it with some other parts and accessory companies into the United Motors Corporation and installed Mr. Sloan as president. In the process Mr. Sloan pocketed his first $5-million, a start on a fortune that was to rise to $250-million.

Late in 1918, through the initiative of John J. Raskob, General Motors took over United Motors as its own parts division, and Mr. Sloan went along as its executive head. Successively, he was named a member of the G. M. board of directors and a vice president.

Meanwhile, Mr. Durant, his backer and sponsor, was swept out of the company through stock purchases by the du Pont interests. Two and a half million shares passed to them in a single day.

Pierre S. du Pont thereupon became president of General Motors, but being unfamiliar with the motor-car business he leaned on Mr. Sloan, who became vice president of operations in 1920. Three years later Mr. du Pont left the presidency and put Mr. Sloan in the chair.

The corporation's net sales were then $698-million; six years later there were $1.5- billion. In the process, General Motors' Chevrolet displaced Ford as sales leader in the low-price field, and the market price of its stock was up 480 per cent.

This growth cost Mr. Sloan much leg work. "It may surprise you to know," he said at the time, "that I have personally visited, with many of my associates, practically every city in the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico.

"On these trips I visit from 5 to 10 dealers a day. I meet them in their own places of business, talk with them across their own desks and solicit from them suggestions and criticisms as to their relations with the corporation."

And a Sloan visit was not soon forgotten, for Mr. Sloan was 6 feet tall and weighed 130 pounds. He arrived dressed in what was then the height of fashion--a dark, double- breasted suit, a high starch collar, conservative tie fixed with a pearl stickpin, a handkerchief cascading out of his breast pocket and spats. It was enough to awe any dealer.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 Mr. Sloan at first cooperated with the New Administration, becoming a member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration. When the dollar was devalued, however, the New Deal lost a friend and gained a persistent critic.

Early in 1937 Mr. Sloan encountered one of the major crises of his business life when newly organized workers in General Motors plants staged a 44-day sitdown strike to obtain union recognition.

The industrialist haughtily refused to deal with the strikers while they "continue to hold our plants unlawfully." He joined the chorus of those assailing John L. Lewis, head of the Committee for Industrial Organization, as seeking to dominate the motor industry. President Roosevelt rebuked him, public sympathy ran against him and he beat a retreat, which was signalized when Gov. Frank Murphy of Michigan brought labor and management together.

Mr. Sloan, however, did not carry on the negotiations personally. He remained in New York, delegating the distasteful job to William S. Knudsen, then vice president in charge of operations, and other executives. A few months later he turned over the company presidency to Mr. Knudsen and became chairman of the board.

A month later, in June, 1937, Mr. Sloan was in the headlines again when Treasury experts reported to a Congressional committee that he and his wife had avoided payment of $1,921,587 in income taxes over a three-year period through personal holding companies.

Although there was no Government charge that this means of tax avoidance was illegal, the implications were so unpleasant that Mr. Sloan issued a statement denying that he ever sought to evade a just share of the tax burden. He said that he and his wife had received in 1936 income totaling $2,876,310. Their Federal and state income taxes, he asserted, ate up $1,725,790, and the remainder--$1,150,520--was divided evenly between charity and themselves.

Toward the end of the year Mr. Sloan made a substantial foray into philanthropy by endowing the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with $10-million. In announcing the benefaction, he said:

"Having been connected with industry during my entire life, it seems eminently proper that I should turn back, in part, the proceeds of that activity with the hope of promoting a broader as well as a better understanding of the economic principles and national policies which have characterized American enterprise down through the years."

Up to 1966 the value of Mr. Sloan's gifts to the foundation and those of his wife, Irene, totaled $305-million, of which about $130-million has been given away. The gifts have not been restricted to economic studies.

One of the foundation's first large benefactions was in 1945--provision of $2.56-million for the establishment of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York, a component of the Memorial Cancer Center. Grants of $300,000 annually were also made at the same time to help finance research. Charles F. Kettering, the co-sponsor of the institute, was a close friend of Mr. Sloan's and director of the General Motors Research Laboratory. Until his death he was an institute trustee.

Additional funds were given the institute over the years, and it and the hospital were eventually reorganized as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, with a medical and scientific staff of 1,500 persons.

Another recipient of Mr. Sloan's benefactions was M.I.T., his alma mater. These included a laboratory for study of automotive and aircraft engines and aeronautical engineering problems. In 1945 he gave $350,000 for an industrial management professorship and four years later he donated $1-million for a metals processing laboratory.

In 1950 the Sloan Foundation gave M.I.T. $5.25-million for a School of Industrial Management, subsequently named the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management. Mr. Sloan gave the school $1-million for management research in 1952.

The foundation also gave M.I.T. $5-million to establish a Center for Advanced Engineering Study, whose students are practicing engineers and professors of engineering.

Two years ago Mr. Sloan established the Alfred P. Sloan Fund for Basic Research in the Physical Sciences at M.I.T. The fund included a personal gift of $5-million from Mr. Sloan and an equal amount from his foundation. Last year a similar fund was established at the California Institute of Technology.

As a further venture into education, the Sloan Foundation in 1958 established a program under which four-year scholarships are awarded to outstanding college students. Forty- five institutions now participate in the project, in which 600 students are enrolled.

In an official biographical sketch issued by Mr. Sloan's office in 1966, his attitude toward philanthropy was outlined. "As chairman of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation," the sketch said, "Mr. Sloan has the responsibility of establishing the fact that every proposed grant is a sound investment in some area of human need, and not in any sense of the word a 'giveaway'; further, that adequate responsibility exists to administer the program intelligently. Here is Mr. Sloan's description of what a foundation should be--a well- organized, efficiently managed business enterprise with a wholesome respect for every dollar at its disposal."

A friend once put it more directly, saying, "He's no Scrooge, but he still knows the value of a dollar."

In World War II General Motors, under Mr. Sloan's direction, converted its automotive plants to the manufacture of armaments. A total of 102 plants was involved, and from February, 1942, to September, 1945, no automobiles were produced. Reconversion was a back-breaking process, but it was accomplished more smoothly than many observers had predicted, for virtually all G.M. lines were back in civilian production by the end of 1945.

After the war General Motors expanded its activities in the household appliance field and in diesel motors. The company also developed overseas plants and outlets.

In 1946 Mr. Sloan stepped down as the company's chief executive officer after 25 years in that post. He remained as chairman of the board until 1956, when he was elected honorary chairman, a position he held until his death.

Held Corporate Posts

Although Mr. Sloan's business life was centered on General Motors, he was a director of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., the Pullman Company, J. P. Morgan & Co., the Kennecott Copper Corporation, the Johns Manville Corporation and the Braden Copper Company.

In retirement, Mr. Sloan turned his mind to writing a book. "My Years With General Motors" was published in 1964 by Doubleday. A documented insider's story of the management of General Motors. It sold more than 50,000 hard-cover copies.

In it, he told why one management is successful and another is not. "The causes of success or failure are deep and complex," he wrote, "and chance plays a part. Experience has convinced me, however, that for those who are responsible for a business, two important factors are motivation and opportunity. The former is supplied in good part by incentive compensation, the latter by decentralization."

Mr. Sloan also took time to reply to critics of General Motors and its success. "General Motors has become what it is because of its people and the way they work together, and because of the opportunity afforded those people to participate in an enterprise which combined their activities efficiently.

"The field was open to all; technical knowledge flows from a common storehouse of scientific progress; the techniques of production are an open book, and the related instruments of production are available to all. The market is world-wide, and there are no favorites except those chosen by the customers."

Also in retirement, Mr. Sloan devoted himself to his foundation. He maintained daily hours at its offices, 630 Fifth Avenue. On days when he had no luncheon engagement, he ate in his paneled office. His fare was a homemade sandwich, which he had brought with him, neatly wrapped in paper, in his coat pocket.

The office was always brightened by fresh flowers and it contained a portrait of his wife, the former Irene Jackson, whom he married in 1898. She died in 1956. They had no children.

In addition to Raymond, Mr. Sloan is survived by two other brothers, Harold S. and Clifford A., both of New York, and sister, Mrs. Katherine Sloan Pratt of Syossett, L.I.

A funeral service will be held tomorrow at 11 A.M. in Christ Church Methodist, 520 Park Avenue. There will be no pallbearers. Until the funeral, his body will be at Frank E. Campbell's, Madison Avenue at 81st Street.

Burial will be private at St. John's Cemetery, Cold Spring Harbor, L.I.




1940/4/30 提到治張學良家毒癮的人

Shih, Hu1940Doctor of Laws
Tillich, Paul1940Doctor of Divinity

Deming, W. Edwards1991Doctor of Laws

2011年2月17日 星期四

Toyota trapped between output efficiency and job protection

Toyota's New Factory Shows Loyalty to Home Market

SENDAI, Japan—Toyota Motor Corp. formally opened its first group assembly plant in Japan in 18 years, highlighting the commitment Toyota has to manufacturing in Japan despite macroeconomic pressures that would seem to make the strategy impractical.

The latest addition to Toyota's production base, which will export Yaris subcompact cars to the U.S. and Middle East, comes as the yen's rise to near-record levels against the dollar and weak domestic demand has brought into question Japanese carmakers' ability to compete in overseas markets with cars made in Japan.

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News

A Toyota in the making at the new plant

While Toyota officials have indicated it is difficult for them to export smaller cars from Japan profitably at current exchange rates, a parade of senior company and local government officials at the opening ceremony Wednesday said the new facility was primed to compete globally.

"We believe Japanese-based manufacturing still has plenty of competitiveness when it comes to exporting," Atsushi Niimi, an executive vice president at Toyota, said at a news conference after the opening event. However, he acknowledged that Japan would seek to meet increased demand abroad with localized production, where possible.

Toyota said the new plant features a number of cost-, space- and labor-saving innovations to boost productivity and competitiveness. Using a term for making things the Japanese way, Mr. Niimi added "mono-zukuri isn't just about assembling things, it's about the materials, plans and designs that go into the process."

The factory, located in a rural hamlet outside the northern Japanese city of Sendai, will produce 120,000 vehicles a year, including two versions of the Corolla model for sale in Japan. Run by Toyota affiliate Central Motor Co., it replaces an older factory located on the outskirts of Tokyo.

The last time Toyota opened a plant in Japan was when group company Kanto Auto Works Ltd. began production at a plant in Iwate Prefecture in 1993.

Write to Chester Dawson at chester.dawson@wsj.com


photoAuxiliary equipment makes the work easier at a Central Motor Co. plant in Miyagi Prefecture. (Koji Nishimura)

Toyota Motor Corp. faces some hard choices.

Corporate executives have pledged to maintain a work force capable of producing 3.2 million vehicles annually in Japan.

But advances made in manufacturing efficiency to compete on a global scale mean fewer workers will be needed.

The difficult position Toyota finds itself in was demonstrated Wednesday when the company invited journalists to tour its latest plant in Miyagi Prefecture.

The plant is operated by Central Motor Co., a Toyota subsidiary. Operations began in January after the Central Motor plant in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, was moved to Miyagi. The plant will produce the compact Yaris sedan for export as well as the Corolla Axio for the domestic market. The Yaris is sold in Japan as the Belta. The plant can manufacture 120,000 vehicles annually.

The major feature of the plant is an assembly line in which car bodies are positioned sideways. This allows workers to install engine and suspension parts at the same time. The assembly line is 35 percent shorter than the one in which car bodies were positioned lengthwise. This has resulted in manufacturing efficiency.

The Miyagi plant is considered a model for all other Toyota plants. However, the company did not allow photos or illustrations to be made of the unique assembly line.

Toyota plans to incorporate the latest manufacturing technology in its plants in Changchun, China, and Brazil.

Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi said at a news conference that other domestic plants would also incorporate the new technology.

"We want to look for opportunities when upgrading outdated plants in Japan," Niimi said.

At a ceremony at the Miyagi plant, Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho stressed the importance of maintaining the company's domestic manufacturing base.

"Although some people say the stronger yen makes automobile exports unprofitable, we believe it is our duty to look after Japan's manufacturing prowess," Cho said.

The sharp rise in the yen since last autumn is worsening the profitability of exports. Toyota alone is expecting to post an operating loss in the current fiscal year of about 420 billion yen ($5 billion).

Given these conditions, improving the international competitiveness of domestic manufacturing plants is an urgent task.

The various members of the Toyota group have competed in developing the latest manufacturing technology and the Miyagi plant is the result of a concentration of such efforts.

The plant investment amount was reduced by 40 percent and manufacturing costs per vehicle were cut by about 5 percent.

With the effects of cost reductions in other plants, Niimi said, "We will make every effort to record an operating profit on a monthly basis by the end of the next fiscal year."

However, there are concerns about whether the company can keep its pledge of protecting jobs in Japan. As manufacturing efficiency improves, the number of workers needed would be reduced if the same number of vehicles was manufactured.

Toyota alone has about 70,000 workers. Any cut in jobs will affect the local communities where those workers live.

It is uncertain if Toyota will be able to maintain its work force by increasing exports through an improvement in price competitiveness as well as increasing production of high value-added vehicles, such as hybrids.

(This article was written by Go Tsutsumino and Tomohiro Yamamoto.)

2011年2月15日 星期二

Roger Milliken's Fortune Was Made In The USA

這可能是關於Roger Milliken的第二篇

Leaders & Success

Roger Milliken's Fortune Was Made In The USA

NYC-born Milliken assumed the family business in 1947 and guided the outfit toward 2,300 patents. AP

NYC-born Milliken assumed the family business in 1947 and guided the outfit toward 2,300 patents. AP View Enlarged Image

Good enough was never good enough for Roger Milliken.

"The largest room in the world is the room for improvement," was his favorite motto.

An early follower of Edwards Deming's total quality philosophy, the textile tycoon launched an improvement campaign in the 1980s that proved his point.

Manufacturing mistakes at Milliken & Co. dropped by two-thirds.

"It was startling to find that we could do so much better," Milliken told Time magazine in 1989.

With constant nudges forward, Milliken (1915-2010) boosted his handful of mills into the world's largest family-owned textile and chemical manufacturer, with 50 sites in seven countries and nearly 9,000 workers.

His company, which remains private, claimed a sweep of three top-caliber trophies: the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (1989), the European Quality Award (1993) and the Japanese TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) Excellence Award (1999).

More Honors

Milliken's Keys

  • Built a woolen mills firm into the largest privately owned textile and chemical maker; named Leader of the Century by Textile World magazine in 1999.
  • "Good is the enemy of best, and best is the enemy of better."

Milliken & Co. was named a top company to work for five times by Fortune magazine (2004, 2006-09) and one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine for four years (2007-10).

And in 1999, Textile World magazine named Milliken, who remained active as chairman of the company until his death last December, Leader of the Century.

What got Milliken noticed was his willingness to take a stand.

To promote American manufacturing while factory jobs shifted overseas, he spearheaded 1984's "Crafted With Pride in the U.S.A." advertising campaign and lobbied Washington for fair-trade policies.

An eight-time delegate to Republican national conventions, Milliken is credited with turning longtime Democratic South Carolina to the right by pouring on his intellectual influence and backing key conservatives.

He was a constant learner who championed higher education, serving on the board of trustees of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., for 50 years.

Early in his tenure, Milliken stared down alumni who threatened to pull donations if the college desegregated in the 1960s. "At that point in the South, it was seen as a potentially damaging decision. But Mr. Milliken said he would cover any losses," Wofford President Benjamin Dunlap told IBD.

Did Milliken have to put his money where his stand was?

"I don't know if it was indeed necessary for him to put steel in people's spines," Dunlap said, but the college proceeded to desegregate.

Nothing could stop Milliken when he was on a mission.

"The joke is a Milliken half-day is from 8 in the morning until 8 at night," his oldest son, Roger Milliken Jr., told journalwatchdog.com in 2009.

2011年2月9日 星期三


Dr. Deming 相當重視衡量及其過程

現在歐洲開始討論新的福利指標組的建立: Beyond GDP: UK to Measure Well-Being by Laura Stoll - [ 翻譯此頁 ]

In November, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that, to help guide national policy, the British government would begin to measure the subjective well-being of its citizens. The announcement was the latest evidence of a growing awareness among governments and economists that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other traditional metrics of economic progress fail to measure the kind of progress that makes life better.

The British government’s decision to measure subjective well-being (rather than, say, objective measures of mental and physical health) underscored the growing debate about what measurements should replace the outdated focus on economic growth.

The Problem with GDP

Cameron explained that the change was about “measuring our progress as a country not just by how our economy is growing, but by how our lives are improving . . . not just by our standard of living, but by our quality of life.” Indeed, GDP was never intended to be used as an indicator of social progress. Simon Kuznets, the economist who helped the U.S Department of Commerce standardize the measure of gross national product , acknowledged that “a nation’s welfare can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.” GDP can go up even in times of suffering: when a country is hit by an earthquake, GDP may increase because of the extra spending on reconstruction. High levels of illness bump drug sales and hospital bills, leading to an increase in a country’s economic activity. But for the last 60 years, GDP has been the main tool in the measurement of people’s well-being.

The British government’s decision is part of a growing acknowledgment that objective (and mainly economic) data can’t give us the whole picture—and may, in fact, predispose us to promote economic growth at the cost of well-being. This UK announcement follows in the footsteps of a report commissioned last year by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and written by Nobel economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, about alternative measures of progress. And around the globe, governments are changing the way they measure how well their country is doing. In Bhutan the government uses “Gross National Happiness” as the main indicator of the country’s development, and in Ecuador and Bolivia the indigenous concept of “buen vivir” (living well) has been incorporated into state constitutions. In the United States, Maryland is experimenting with a “Genuine Progress Indicator.”

Finding a Better Measurement

As awareness of the need for alternative indicators grows, so does the debate about what those indicators should be. In their report [pdf] to President Sarkozy, Joseph Stiglitz and Sen emphasized that a new measurement system “must, of necessity, be plural—because no single measure can summarize something as complex as the well-being of the members of society.” They recommended living standards, or material well-being, as “a good place to start” and recommended that measurements focus not on economic production but on the distribution of income, consumption, and wealth.

In contrast, the British government has decided to measure subjective well-being—what citizens have to say about the quality of their lives. The UK Office for National Statistics has been given the task of choosing several subjective well-being questions to be included in the Integrated Household Survey, the biggest source of social data on the UK after the census. The process has begun with a public consultation, involving both the general population and specialists, about what the focus of these questions should be.

The information will allow politicians—as well as the public—to assess the effectiveness of the government’s policies in terms that really matter to people.

In addition to directly asking how people would rate their level of satisfaction with their lives (a commonly used question, and therefore most useful for making international comparisons), there are good reasons to design questions that will measure people’s senses of trust and belonging, of the quality of their relationships, of the level of autonomy they have over their lives.

Such questions aim to measure how people think and feel about their well-being. Using these measures allows for individual differences in identities and values to be expressed—for example, one person may answer a life satisfaction question by thinking mostly about their job security and salary, but somebody else may answer the same question by emphasizing their family relationships and health. This means that data on subjective well-being can be used to tell us what really matters to people, not what politicians think matters.

Happiness cup10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy

In the UK, collecting this information via the Integrated Household Survey links it to a large amount of objective data which can then be used to identify links between people’s subjective well-being or experiences, and other objective factors—including economic activity, education, health and disability, identity, place of residence, and income. This will provide information on the impact of social, economic, cultural and physical conditions on people’s well-being, which can then be used to shape policy priorities. The real test will therefore come with the results of the survey, when we will see whether and how the UK government uses this new information.

The information will also allow politicians—as well as the public—to assess the effectiveness of the government’s policies in terms that really matter to people. The ultimate aim of most policy is to improve lives, but without proper measures of well-being it can be difficult to assess whether this is being achieved.

The success of this measurement program depends a lot on exactly how the information is attained and then used, but this announcement may have signaled the start of a UK government agenda which puts well-being, rather than economic growth, at the heart of its public policy.

Laura Stoll Author PicLaura Stoll wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Laura is a researcher with the Centre for Well-being, a program of the New Economics Foundation, a UK-based think tank that studies well-being economics.



不 久之前,英國首相卡麥隆決定要自今年起編製「綜合福祉指標」,來補充國內生產毛額(GDP)之不足。兩年前,法國總統沙克吉也有類似想法,聘了幾位知名學 者寫了一分政策建議,而目前該國相關部門正在研擬中。這是一個非常正確的方向:最常作為衡量國民生活水準的國內生產毛額,已與一般人民的生活日益脫節。

脫節之原因一,在於國內生產毛額經常被誤用,久而久之,偏誤的作法成為常態,正確的用法無人提及。其實現有的資料有些比國內生產毛額貼近民生,像「以要素 計算的國民所得」,也就是薪資加利潤,這才是民眾實際可以「分到」的餅。但以我國為例,從八九到九八年的十年間,GDP平均成長百分之三點四,以要素計算 的國民所得成長不到百分之二。

為什麼?以最近幾年來說,企業設備投資的額度愈來愈大,提列的折舊愈來愈多;這些折舊會變成企業的「儲蓄」,但是一般人民分不到。另外,去年平均出口價格 比九五年低了百分之三,但平均進口價格漲了百分之十五,一來一往,國民的購買能力變低了。所以,治國的注意力如果改放在「國民所得」,就會比單用GDP貼 近人民。

英法兩國想要做的事,其目標更高,將大幅超過現有統計的範圍。第一,除了客觀指標外,民眾的主觀感受也將列入。國內目前有一主觀指標,就是中大的消費者信 心指數。這個指數上月創十年來的歷史新高,當然是好事。但我們必須了解,上月實際數字是八十六點八,而滿分是兩百。當全體受訪者對所有題目,都剛好看好看 壞各半時,指數就會是一百。八十六點八還不到一百,表示受訪的兩千多位民眾,對於未來的信心,從谷底上升到十年來的新高,但這個新高還是不夠高。過去十年 的信心低落程度,超乎想像。這也表示,有許多企業和民眾,其經濟狀況還沒有回到過去的水準。

還有一個要改的,就是對於環境成本的計算。GDP沒有納入公有優良環境的效益,像國家公園帶來的喜悅,也沒有扣除公有環境品質的下降,像水汙染導致河川無 法作為休閒使用。其實,主計處早從八九年開始就應立法院的要求,編製「綠色國民所得」,做的就是這件事。到如今已經多年了,但未受重視。


無論是國家治理,還是企業治理,數字管理是一個重要的基礎。管理不能只靠數字,但如果連最基礎、最關鍵的數字都沒有,管理者等於是在黑暗中摸索,在沒有地 圖的指引下前進,成功將只是偶然,事倍功半則指日可待。誠如已故的歷史學家黃仁宇所言,明朝稅制之所以失敗,缺乏數字管理是重要原因。我們希望所有具決策 權力的機構,要重視數字的收集,並且使用正確的數字,作為國家治理的導引。


BBC News - The Tesco - a new unit of measurement

Michael Blastland
Different ways of seeing stats

Tesco is minting it, suggest company results this week. In his regular column, Michael Blastland reveals a new measurement for an age of mega numbers: The Tesco.

As shops go, Tesco is the daddy. It's often said that £1 in every £7 spent in the shops is spent at Tesco. The company's global sales this year were about £60bn, UK sales about £40bn.

That's handy. No, not just because it keeps thousands in jobs, pays profits to our pension funds and taxes to the government etc (though let's not forget it has critics). Tesco puts the world in proportion.

In fact, Go Figure can reveal that government ministers increasingly struggle to get their heads round the national finances. For most of the numbers in public argument have gone enormous too. Billions, trillions? Too many zeros. What better way to understand them than with a new unit of measurement? From now on the Treasury will measure the economy and public spending in: The Tesco.

How does that work? Click through the presentation below.

Graphic showing £40bn is equivalent to one Tesco
BACK 1 of 4 NEXT

However, Tesco isn't just a British operation, so if we use the global sales of Tesco as our standard unit, at about £60bn, then...

The UK economy = about 24 Tescos

US economy = about 156 Tescos.

Total UK government spending = about 11 Tescos.

Total UK government debt = about 13 Tescos.

Confidential Cabinet papers reveal that Ed Balls is calling for two Tescos for the Department of Children Schools and Families but may be willing to forgo the men's clothing, while Overseas Aid has put in a bid for an extra frozen veg. Transport has accepted a cut of in-store bakery and toiletries.

Meanwhile, Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco chief executive, only - only? - has to increase his global business relative to the US by about 156 times and Tesco would be the world's biggest economy. Do you think he knows?

Any ideas for other new units of measurement that could simplify the world? Send your suggestions and we'll post the best.

Sources: Public Finances Databank, Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Note: Why doesn't UK GDP (35 Tescos) equal the private sector (28 Tescos) plus public spending (15 Tescos)? Mainly because a large part of public spending is transfer payments (pensions and benefits and the like), that is, cash simply taken from one person and given to another. This is not part of GDP. So some of the private sector output is counted again in public spending when the money taken in tax is paid out in pensions etc.

Assumptions: GDP approx £1.4tn. Public spending approx 44% of GDP. Market sector output approx 80% of GDP. UK debt to GDP ratio approx 63%. Readers have a sense of humour - the Treasury won't really being doing its sums in The Tesco.

Toyota Probe: Mechanical Errors

國政府官員週二表示﹐美國國家航空及太空總署(NASA)在對豐田汽車公司(Toyota Motor Co., TM) 2009年和2010年召回事件進行了10個月的研究後發現﹐引擎電子元件並非導致汽車突然加速並引發交通事故的原因。

美國運輸部(Transportation Department)發佈的這份報告稱﹐豐田汽車已經將交通事故原因限制在油門踏板失靈以及受腳墊阻礙這兩個因素上。




〔本報訊〕自2009年起,日本豐田汽車(Toyota)因旗下多款汽車的加速踏板出現故障以及暴衝等問題,全球召回1200萬輛車,但據美國交通部 (Transportation Department)最終調查報告指出,豐田汽車的電子操縱系統並無異常,可能是因駕駛人的駕駛不當才釀成車禍,因此召回事件的調查暫告一段落。


經過10個月的調查後,美國交通部長拉胡德(Ray LaHood)於當地時間昨日的新聞發表會上表示,美國太空總署(NASA)的工程師認為,豐田汽車的電子操縱系統沒有存在缺陷,因此與車輛突然暴衝等問 題並無直接關係,目前美國政府針對豐田的召回汽車事件也暫告一段落。

FEBRUARY 9, 2011
U.S. Probe Cites Driver, Mechanical Errors


Federal highway safety officials on Tuesday absolved the electronics in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles for unintended acceleration, and said driver error was to blame for most of the incidents.

The findings of a 10-month-long study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration identified three main causes for sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models. Two of them—sticky accelerator pedals and floor mats that trapped the throttle in an open position—were the subject of a series of Toyota recalls.

The third and most common problem was drivers hitting the gas when they thought they were hitting the brake, which the NHTSA called "pedal misapplication."

Timeline: Toyota Probe

See how investigations into Toyota's vehicles unfolded.

The report came as Toyota said its profit fell 39% in the December-ended quarter, as the yen's persistent strength and a slip in sales in Japan weighed on its bottom line.

Its sales have been stung by the recalls, and continued worries about its vehicles have Toyota fighting to maintain its title as the world's largest car maker by unit sales.

At a Congressional hearing last year, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had suggested that consumers should stop driving their Toyotas. On Tuesday, he said: "We feel that Toyotas are safe to drive."

In addition to Toyota, the report is a boon for the rest of the auto industry, because it could blunt efforts by plaintiffs' lawyers, safety advocates and lawmakers to attack the safety of electronic systems widely used in the auto industry.

Electronically controlled throttle, braking, steering, safety and vehicle stability systems are critical to modern vehicles—especially hybrid and electric cars. Auto makers have increasingly used computer-controlled electronic systems to replace mechanical connections to save weight, improve fuel economy and enable advanced safety systems such as automatic braking.

"It does appear that this study, which was conducted by America's top scientists and engineers, should reassure the driving public that many of the more 'mediagenic' claims had no merit," said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing most of the major auto makers in the U.S. market. "We're pleased that this detailed report can be reassuring to consumers, and is similar to the extensive internal research and testing auto makers already do."

The exhaustive study should help Toyota fend off hundreds of lawsuits under litigation in federal court that blame unintended acceleration for accidents and could improve the company's quality image.

But critics contend the report didn't go far enough.

"Right now, we don't have any explanation for many of the problems, so what good did the investigation do?" said Sean Kane, whose Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. led much of the early research into electronics as a potential cause of problems.

Joan Claybrook, the president emeritus for Public Citizen, a consumer safety group that has been critical of Toyota, said the results of the government study weren't convincing.

"I think it's a failure of evaluation because there are so many cases where there was no problem with the floormat and it was clear the vehicle had runaway on its own," said Ms. Claybrook, also a former NHTSA secretary. "It has to be some vehicle related malfunction. The failure to find that is a failure of analysis."

But government officials said the evidence points to mechanical and driver problems. "Toyota's problems were mechanical, not electronic," Mr. LaHood said Tuesday.

NASA's lead engineer, Michael Kirsch, said an electronics failure couldn't be entirely ruled out. But it would be incredibly unlikely, he said, because it would require the simultaneous failure of two different systems, and would have left evidence in a car's computer system.

A lengthy investigation by the federal government into last year's Toyota recalls found that engine electronics played no role in incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration of its cars. Joe White has details.

"We hope this important study will help put to rest unsupported speculation about Toyota's [electronic throttle control system], which is well-designed and well-tested to ensure that a real world, uncommanded acceleration of the vehicle cannot occur," said Steve St. Angelo, the U.S. quality chief for Toyota.

In the few cases of prolonged, uncontrolled acceleration, NHTSA said slipping floor mats that trapped the gas pedal were likely the cause.

The agency had already fined Toyota $49 million for being slow to report known problems related other mechanical problems, including floor mats and sticky pedals.

The NASA/NHTSA study highlighted a delicate issue for auto makers and regulators: The vast majority of sudden acceleration incidents studied were determined to be the result of driver mistakes. The NHTSA said it will continue to study measures aimed at reducing the risks of unintended acceleration caused by drivers mistaking one pedal for another.

David Strickland, NHTSA's chief, said the agency is considering whether to require advanced technology, including brake-override systems and "black box" event-data recorders, in all passenger cars without legislative order.

NHTSA said it will also evaluate how to make cars with so-called keyless entry, or push-button start systems, easier to turn off, and will study the design of accelerator and brake pedals to learn whether redesigning pedals will make mistakes less common.

The auto industry in December fended off proposed House legislation that would have added a host of new vehicle-safety requirements that were born out of Toyota's problems.

The news came the same day the Toyota City, Japan-based company reported lower profit than a year ago as sales in Japan slipped and the yen's strength cut its profits on exports.

It posted a profit of 93.63 billion yen ($1.14 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 30, down from 153.22 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

However, the Japanese car maker was upbeat about its outlook for its full fiscal year ending in March, raising its profit projection to 490 billion yen from 350 billion yen owing to strong overseas sales and extensive cost-cutting.

"The fact that we were able to raise our forecast indicates that our cost-cutting efforts have exceeded our own expectations," Toyota senior managing director Takahiko Ijichi said. "We think that shows we're back on the road to recovery."

Toyota's incentive spending rose by a third in 2010, according to research website Edmunds.com, and the auto maker still lost two percentage points of U.S. market share.

It held the top spot for sales direct to consumers.

"I was leaning toward the Honda Accord," said Abdul Farukhi, 27, who bought a new Camry in late December. "It looked just as good as the Camry and didn't have this baggage with the accelerator, and I was a little concerned about the resale value down the road. But the incentives were just too good on the Camry and that tipped it in their favor,"

Toyota executives have predicted that it will regain lost market share in the U.S. this year with a host of new products, including a redesigned Camry and RAV4, which are two of its most popular models.

Toyota has raised its full-year profit outlook for three straight quarters, from an initial estimate of 310 billion yen in May. The revised number for the year ending in March is still far below that of rival Honda Motor Co., which expects a 530 billion yen profit for this fiscal year, but above that of Nissan Motor Co.'s 270 billion yen estimate. Nissan reports its latest earnings on Wednesday.

The upward revision is the latest indication that the strong local currency isn't as big a threat to profitability as initially feared by Japan's auto industry. A stronger yen eats into profits Japanese car makers earn overseas when repatriated and makes made-in-Japan vehicles less price-competitive abroad.


For Toyota, home is where it hurts most. Whereas the auto maker expects to increase overseas production by 7% from a year earlier to 4.36 million vehicles by March 31, it sees domestic production falling 1.4% to 3.16 million vehicles.

The company's exposure to Japan, where it dominates nearly half the market, has become a major drag on profitability amid shrinking Japanese demand for cars and Toyota's commitment to maintaining a domestic production base of at least three million vehicles a year.

A surge in the yen over the past year has made it difficult for Toyota to export more cars, which would lessen the slack in domestic production capacity. Akio Toyoda, the company's president and grandson of the company's founder, has indicated that the auto maker cannot profitably export compact cars when the yen stands at less than 90 yen to the dollar.

While sales volume fell in three of its largest markets—Europe, Japan and North America—during the three months from October, profits rose in all markets except Japan.

For the full year, Toyota expects sales to be flat or higher in all markets including Japan, where the rebates had helped boost sales until their cut-off in September. In particular, the company pointed to high demand for its cars in emerging markets as far afield as South Africa and Thailand—which Mr. Ijichi called a pillar of the company's future growth strategy.

To cope with the strong yen and weak domestic sales, Toyota is trying to extract more profits where it's most competitive. "We are trying to raise prices selectively, sell more higher profit margin vehicles and produce more in the markets where our sales are growing fastest," Mr. Ijichi explained.

In the quarter ended December, Toyota's revenue declined 12% to 4.673 trillion yen from 5.293 trillion yen and operating profit sagged 48% to 99.07 yen from 189.11 billion yen.

Toyota's earnings projection for this fiscal year is based on the company's expected average yen rate for the year of 86 yen to the dollar and 112 yen to the euro.

Write to Yoshio Takahashi at yoshio.takahashi@dowjones.com, Chester Dawson at chester.dawson@wsj.com and Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@dowjones.com