Nobel Prize of Manufacturing awarded to PSU professor

Professor H. Thomas Johnson, school of business administration, was recently announced as the 2001 recipient of the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. Professor Johnson received the research award for his book, Profit Beyond Measure: Extraordinary Results Through Attention to Work and People.

The Shingo Prize is given in honor of the late business man, Shigeo Shingo. In a joint sponsor with Utah State University, the prize promotes world class manufacturing and recognizes companies that achieve superior customer satisfaction and business results. The prize is also given to research and writings that address innovative manufacturing and business improvement methods, systems, and processes. Some consider the Shingo Prize to be the Nobel Prize of manufacturing.

Johnson’s book, co-authored by Anders Broms, investigates the unique business methods of Toyota and the Swedish truck manufacturer, Scania. In the book Johnson and Broms discuss how companies can improve productivity and profit levels by changing the way they think and organize work.

Professor Johnson has been teaching since 1968 and joined the PSU faculty in 1988. Before beginning his career in teaching Johnson was a student at Harvard, Rutgers, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He earned his degrees in economics, public accounting and economic history. Johnson also briefly worked as a CPA before deciding to teach.

Among Professor Johnson’s many writings is a book he and Robert Kaplan, dean of the business school of Carnegie-Mellon University, wrote; Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting. It is considered one of the most influential management volumes written in the last 75 years.

Johnson has also won a number of other awards in his career. In 1996 he was awarded the Branford Price Millar Award. He has also received awards from the Harvard Business School, the American Accounting Association, the Academy of Accounting Historians, and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Professor Johnson will be a be a presenter at the Shingo awards conference in June and will also lecture at a Shingo conference at Utah State in October.