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Role of personal anxiety in individual kaizen behaviour and performance: evidence from Japan

Kodo Yokozawa (Department of Business Administration, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan)
Hao Anh Nguyen (Department of Business Administration, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan)
Thi Bich Hanh Tran (Department of Business Administration, FPT University, Hanoi, Vietnam)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 July 2021

Issue publication date: 19 August 2021

470

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the role of anxiety in kaizen behaviour and performance by empirically testing the influence of personal anxiety (state and trait) on individual kaizen behaviours (rule adherence, initiative and perseverance of effort), which, in turn, affect individual kaizen performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were obtained from a survey of 552 employees of four companies in Japan and analysed using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results show that state anxiety has a significantly positive effect on rule adherence and kaizen performance. Trait anxiety positively influences employees' initiative and perseverance but has a significant negative effect on kaizen performance.

Originality/value

This study contributes to kaizen and continuous improvement theory by focussing on individual kaizen, which is considered to be as important as organisation-level kaizen and investigating the relevance of personal anxiety in individual kaizen behaviours and kaizen performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research has been generously funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science [Grant KAKENHI [20K01878]. The authors would like to take this opportunity to convey their sincere thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments that greatly improved the original submission. The authors are also grateful to Professor Norifumi Kawai for his encouraging words and insightful suggestions which have been invaluable in improving this paper.

Citation

Yokozawa, K., Nguyen, H.A. and Tran, T.B.H. (2021), "Role of personal anxiety in individual kaizen behaviour and performance: evidence from Japan", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 942-961. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-09-2020-0670

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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