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Organizing for continuous improvement: Structures and roles in automotive components plants

Rick Delbridge (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff, UK)
Harry Barton (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 June 2002

2655

Abstract

This paper reports some preliminary findings from a research project on the management of problem solving and continuous improvement in UK and US first tier automotive component manufacturers. It draws on organizational theory to interpret emerging structures, relationships and roles in the light of recent work on the “learning factory” model of manufacturing. There is considerable evidence of shifting patterns of roles and responsibilities, especially for operators, front‐line managers and a new cadre of continuous improvement specialists, but only limited evidence of knowledge transfer across organizational boundaries. Overall the findings suggest that there are various routes toward the learning factory and that ultimately this model of operations is likely to have numerous practical incarnations.

Keywords

Citation

Delbridge, R. and Barton, H. (2002), "Organizing for continuous improvement: Structures and roles in automotive components plants", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 680-692. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570210427686

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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