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A conceptual continuous improvement implementation framework for UK manufacturing companies

Richard Scott McLean (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Jiju Antony (Department of Business and Management, School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to review current continuous improvement implementation models and frameworks, and present a new conceptual framework tailored specifically to the needs of UK manufacturing companies.


The paper details the in-depth review of 20 existing models or frameworks for continuous improvement implementation, demonstrating the need for a new industry and region specific solution. Through the incorporation of previous findings from literature, coupled with the positive aspects of the current offerings, a new conceptual framework for continuous improvement implementation in UK manufacturing companies is presented.


The paper demonstrates the need for industry and region specific frameworks and demonstrates that current models and frameworks do not completely fulfil the objective of the research. A new continuous improvement implementation framework is therefore presented in a user friendly format, comprising positive aspects of previous models and frameworks where applicable.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the research is limited to the UK and the manufacturing industry. It is therefore not clear the applicability of the framework presented to other regions and industries. The framework presented is also conceptual at this stage and requires validation through interview and application.

Practical implications

The framework presented will provide senior managers wishing to implement continuous improvement an understanding of the high level process, as well as awareness of their role within the roll out. Overall, the framework provides a clear guide whilst also allowing for individual tailoring of the elements contained to the needs of the company.


The paper presents a new conceptual framework; the first to be tailored to the needs of UK manufacturing companies. The framework has also been demonstrated to be a more robust solution than those currently in existence.



McLean, R.S. and Antony, J. (2017), "A conceptual continuous improvement implementation framework for UK manufacturing companies", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 1015-1033.



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