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Factory Physics for Managers: How Leaders Improve Performance in a Post-Lean Six Sigma World by Mark L. Spearman, Jeffrey H. Bell, Edward S. Pound

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CHAPTER 1

Science—Use It or Lose

There is nothing more practical than a good theory.

—Kurt Lewin

“Oh, that is just a theory!” When we hear this, it usually means that the speaker thinks that the theory in question is not true and not useful. Indeed, the word theoretical has come to mean an idea that is not practical. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ definition of theory, however, addresses this issue:

The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no ...

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