T&D: My 1982 White Paper Suggesting How to Get Motorola to System 4

In 1981 I Joined Motorola Training & Education Center

Motorola was already well into their PMP effort – to change and establish a new culture – a Participative Management Culture (System 4) via PMP – a Participative Management Program.


A year after I joined I had some frustrations and decide to spend a weekend drafting a White Paper. I wrote it longhand – and one of the department secretaries typed it up. This was 1982.

My frustrations were due to the fact that PMP was proceeding in a manner that didn’t use what I was learning at MTEC from Geary Rummler, Neil Rackham and from the TQM side, the ideas and approaches of Deming and Juan (and others).

The goal – which I did not understand at the time – was to become a System 4 organization. Which was a concept from Rensis Likert .

From Wikipedia

The Four Basic systems of Organization Likert outlined are:

SYSTEM 1: Exploitive Authoritative – management uses fear and threats; communication is top down. Responsibility lies in the hands of the people at the upper levels of the hierarchy. The superior has no trust and confidence in subordinates. The decisions are imposed on subordinates and they do not feel free at all to discuss things about the job with their superior. The teamwork or communication is very little and the motivation is based on threats.
SYSTEM 2: Benevolent authoritative – management uses rewards; communication upward is censored or restricted. The responsibility lies at the managerial levels but not at the lower levels of the organizational hierarchy. The superior has condescending confidence and trust in subordinates (master-servant relationship). Here again, the subordinates do not feel free to discuss things about the job with their superior. The teamwork or communication is very little and motivation is based on a system of rewards.
SYSTEM 3: Consultative – management offers rewards and sometimes punishments; broader communication stream downward, upward is cautious. Responsibility is spread widely through the organizational hierarchy. The superior has substantial but not complete confidence in subordinates. Some amount of discussion about job related things takes place between the superior and subordinates. There is a fair amount of teamwork, and communication takes place vertically and horizontally. The motivation is based on rewards and involvement in the job.
SYSTEM 4: Participative Group – team oriented; free communication cooperative. Responsibility for achieving the organizational goals is widespread throughout the organizational hierarchy. There is a high level of confidence that the superior has in his subordinates. There is a high level of teamwork, communication, and participation.

Three Key Elements of The System 4 Management Model

A. The Manager’s use of the principle of Supportive Relationships
B. The use of Group Decision Making in an overlapping group structure
C. The Manager’s high performance goals for the Organization

I’ve posted about this White Paper before – back in 2007 and 2008:

From the 2008 Post:

It was Paul who took my thoughts, documented in a 1982 White Paper about combining/ blending Process (ala Rummler), TQM tools (the 7 basics and 7 advanced and lessons from Deming and Juran), and Communications Styles/Behaviors (from the Huthwaite/Neil Rackham approaches) – and developed the idea of a Do-It-Yourself Geary-Rummler-Consulting Kit – that I contend morphed into the OPS course that morphed into a working/training session using Quality Tools and Geary’s Process-Orientation – that eventually morphed into Six Sigma.

Here is the White Paper:



I still think about what might have become of the White Paper – DIY Consulting Kit – etc. – if the Communications Behaviors of Neil Rackham and Huthwaite had been included.

# # #

3 comments on “T&D: My 1982 White Paper Suggesting How to Get Motorola to System 4

  1. Pingback: Celebrate Failure? | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: 39 Years Ago I Wrote this White Paper for Motorola – Proposing an Integrated Performance System | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: 39 Years I Wrote a Whitepaper on Combining Multiple Performance Improvement Methods | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.