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Experts within kaizen teams: how to get the most from their knowledge

Fernando Sandoval‐Arzaga (Professor at the Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE) Zona Centro, Tecnologico de Monterrey, CEM, Mexico, and Member of GRACO (Knowledge and Learning) Research Group at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain)
Manuel F. Suárez‐Barraza (Professor of Innovation Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE) Zona Centro, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Toluca, Mexico, and Visiting professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 29 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

One of the main problems for managers is forming work groups where experts' knowledge is truly utilized in order to successfully solve the task assigned. The question that arises is: “How can expert knowledge be best utilized for different types of teams?” The purpose of this article is to explore and describe how experts' knowledge is deployed in a specific context, as with Kaizen teams.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitatively based interpretive methodology, applying the case study as a research strategy through a dual design, which combines longitudinal and retrospective studies.

Findings

As a result of the conclusions from the field study, a set of practical recommendations is presented here that can be useful for general and middle management involved in improvement and innovation efforts.

Research limitations/implications

This study is supported in the context of three case studies. Therefore does not seek the empirical generalization but analytical generalization.

Practical implications

As a result of the conclusions from the field study, a set of practical recommendations is presented here that can be useful for general and middle management involved in improvement and innovation efforts.

Social implications

Sharing knowledge and promoting organizational learning goes beyond individual benefits and the organization to have an impact on society as it promotes dialogue, collaboration and respect as a way to solve problems and propose solutions.

Originality/value

Amplifying knowledge deployment between the expert and the apprentice in a Kaizen context is one of the unexplored topics in literature on continuous innovation and knowledge management.

Keywords

Citation

Sandoval‐Arzaga, F. and Suárez‐Barraza, M.F. (2010), "Experts within kaizen teams: how to get the most from their knowledge", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 10-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777281011056703

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited