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Continuous improvement strategies across manufacturing SMEs of Northern India: An empirical investigation

Jagdeep Singh Sraun (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Punjabi University, Patiala, India)
Harwinder Singh (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, India)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contributions of successful continuous improvement (CI) strategic implementation to competitive manufacturing. It also seeks to critically examine the level of importance of CI strategy implementation in Indian manufacturing organizations.


A reasonably large number of manufacturing organizations with successful experience of CI approach have been surveyed to assess the contributions of CI strategies and approach towards accruing useful benefits. The study involves working out the correlations between various CI strategies and manufacturing performance parameters to ascertain the contributions of significant strategies towards realization of manufacturing performance improvement.


The results of investigation demonstrated that CI strategies and approach significantly aimed at improving the quality of product manufactured by small- and medium-scale manufacturing enterprises. Supportive tools have negative impact on manufacturing performance parameters. Total productive maintenance strategies have highly significant impact on manufacturing performance improvement.

Practical implications

The study establishes that CI strategic implementation can systematically contribute towards realization of significant manufacturing performance enhancements.


The study highlights both positive and negative potentials of CI strategic implementation affecting performance improvements. The achievements of Indian manufacturing organizations through proactive CI approach have been evaluated and the critical impact of CI strategies has been identified for enhancing the effectiveness of CI activities in the Indian context.



Sraun, J.S. and Singh, H. (2017), "Continuous improvement strategies across manufacturing SMEs of Northern India: An empirical investigation", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 225-243.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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