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Longitudinal study of the results of continuous improvement in an industrial company

Juan A. Marin‐Garcia (Department of Business Administration, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Manuela Pardo del Val (Faculty of Economy, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Tomás Bonavía Martín (Department of Social Psychology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to show a real experience of how a scheme of continuous improvement has been gradually transformed, from a very unsuccessful start, passing through different phases and finally delivering results for the firm.


The authors analyse the evolution of the formal programs of continuous improvement of a firm in a traditional sector (food). The data for the research were gathered by means of participatory observation over the course of 18 months spent in the firm attending the meetings of the improvement teams.


Both programs (individual and group) have proved to be very profitable for the company. However, there is no magic formula for the correct operation of the system of continuous improvement. The existing system has to be continually improved, correcting faults and trying always to contribute something new to re‐launch the system regularly.

Practical implications

This study has also permitted the authors to highlight the importance of continuous improvement in the firm from both the economic point of view and that of worker development.


The investigation aims to help to cover the lack of longitudinal case studies of continuous improvement.



Marin‐Garcia, J.A., Pardo del Val, M. and Bonavía Martín, T. (2008), "Longitudinal study of the results of continuous improvement in an industrial company", Team Performance Management, Vol. 14 No. 1/2, pp. 56-69.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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