The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of good management and well-disciplined workforce in convenience store operations as well as improve organizational performance using the 5S method. This study would be beneficial to convenience stores in Japan considering that it addresses some of the major issues involved in the maintenance of employee productivity. Specific objectives of the study were: determination of shitsuke’s importance in employee behavior; and examination of the effects of shitsuke on the performance of convenience stores.
For this study, three convenience stores in Tokyo, Japan with a total of 23 respondent employees were selected as subjects. A qualitative research method was used, and the responses obtained before and after the 5S implementation were compared.
The results showed the following: shitsuke (discipline) was significantly important in maintaining store cleanliness, especially for toilets; the steps for undertaking a planned change to improve shitsuke involved developing a shared outlook for the business and reaching an agreement on basic processes; and enforcement of 5S and development of effective managers were deemed necessary.
The results of this research would provide substantial insights into various human resource management practices necessary to enhance work culture and organizational performance. In addition, this study may also be applicable to other small and medium business enterprises.
The author owes deepest gratitude to all the participants in this research. The author’s intellectual debt is to Professors of the Graduate School of Organization Development, the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI), the Philippines, especially Dr Rosalina O. Fuentes (Dean) and Dr Marie-Paul B. de Luna (Director). Without their guidance and persistent encouragement, this research would not have been possible. The author is particularly grateful to Professor Yasuo Hirota and Professor Noriko Fujiwara, the Department of Sociology, the School of Human Sciences, Senshu University for their teachings and encouragement. Lastly, the author genuinely appreciates Professor Alexander Douglas (Main Editor) and two anonymous reviewers, the TQM Journal for their insightful comments.
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