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Kaizen transferability in non-Japanese cultures: a combined approach of total interpretive structural modeling and analytic network process

Ammar Mohamed Aamer (College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, Toronto, Canada)
Mohammed Ali Al-Awlaqi (Business, Lebanese International University - Yemen Sana'a Campus, Sana'a, Yemen)
Nabeel Mandahawi (Supply Chain Management, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Toronto, Canada)
Farid Triawan (Mechanical Engineering, Sampoerna University, Jakarta, Indonesia)
Faisal Al-Madi (Business Administration, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 29 November 2022




The literature on Kaizen transferability to non-Japanese culture is still evolving. The results suggest that the relevant research is still at a descriptive and explanatory stage. This study aims to identify and prioritize the importance of significant Kaizen transferability factors in a non-Japanese culture.


A decision theory-based prescriptive analysis methodology was used to analyze identified Kaizen transferability success factors. Firstly, a list of Kaizen transferability factors was devised from the literature using a systematic literature review. Secondly, an integrated interpretative structure modeling and analytic network process approach were applied to generate preference among factors.


A framework with a prioritized Kaizen transferability success factors included, in ascending order, organization culture, employee participation, employee discipline, employee personal initiative, top management commitment, management enforcement, employee eagerness, management support and national culture and traditions.

Research limitations/implications

Managers and decision-makers would better understand where to direct their effort and attention to implement the Kaizen management philosophy to improve firm-level productivity. Although the factors studied in this research considered the Indonesian context, the proposed framework could be replicated and extended to include other cultures.


The present work contributes to the limited studies and documentation on Kaizen activities' transferability challenges and the Kaizen body of knowledge in developing countries. This study should help organizations in other developing countries, assimilate how to adopt and manage the Kaizen philosophy implementation by following the framework created in this research.



Aamer, A.M., Al-Awlaqi, M.A., Mandahawi, N., Triawan, F. and Al-Madi, F. (2022), "Kaizen transferability in non-Japanese cultures: a combined approach of total interpretive structural modeling and analytic network process", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 71 No. 8, pp. 3245-3269.



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