Search results

1 – 10 of over 1000
Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

Jan de Leede and Jan Kees Looise

The key issue of continuous improvement (CI) seems to be the problem of combining extensive employee involvement with market orientation and continuation of CI. In this…

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Abstract

The key issue of continuous improvement (CI) seems to be the problem of combining extensive employee involvement with market orientation and continuation of CI. In this article we review some existing organisational designs for CI on these three essential characteristics of CI. As an alternative to the shortcomings of current organisational designs for CI we present the mini‐company concept, related to the sociotechnical concept of the self‐managing team. The mini‐company concept incorporates the three key issues: it has a self‐propelling capacity for CI, involving everyone on the shop floor. A constant and market‐oriented source for improvement is found in the clients and suppliers of the mini‐company. Results of an in‐depth case‐study are presented, showing some strong effects of the mini‐company concept.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Chun‐Hsien Liu and Chu‐Ching Wang

The paper aims to develop a service taxonomy model and a mathematical process to forecast a competitor's service business strategy in a multiple service business context…

2000

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to develop a service taxonomy model and a mathematical process to forecast a competitor's service business strategy in a multiple service business context by inputting CI data such as the profits of existing core services.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative method of literature review is adopted to build a service taxonomy model and form two propositions. Based on the multiple business process integration concept of the resource‐based view, a mathematical process constituted by service modules and weights is developed. Salient components of the competitor's service business are identified to forecast the competitor's service business strategy after utilizing optimization heuristics of 80/20 and large number rules.

Findings

The model is able not only to forecast a competitor's service business strategy, but can also help develop the firm's own new service strategy. The resources of the firm can then be realigned to counteract the competitor's strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The developed model is mainly applicable to service businesses. The collection and use of CI data must consider ethical issues, which might limit the sources of data.

Practical implications

To forecast a competitor's strategy correctly , good quality CI practice is necessary. Experienced people in the CI department are critical to the production of good quality forecasts.

Originality/value

The contribution to CI impact studies is that the mathematical forecasting process is developed based on qualitative service taxonomical research. Key elements of the service process are identified as salient elements, which serve as the main focusing points in forecasting competitors' strategy.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2022

Lidia Sanchez-Ruiz, Raquel Gomez-Lopez and Beatriz Blanco Rojo

The aim of this paper is to analyse the nature of the facilitators of continuous improvement (CI), proposing a classification of them and identifying the different…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyse the nature of the facilitators of continuous improvement (CI), proposing a classification of them and identifying the different profiles of companies based on them.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this objective, first, a literature review was done in order to identify the main facilitators; second, some of them were included in a survey based on experts' opinions; third, a survey was conducted amongst people responsible for implementing CI; and finally factorial and cluster analysis were applied.

Findings

Based on the results, three main factors were identified: “cultural facilitators”, “tactical facilitators” and “human resources involvement facilitators”. Additionally, five clusters were defined.

Practical implications

As many companies still struggle when implementing CI, the results of this study can help all them to focus on the most important aspects in order to guarantee the sustainability of the CI system.

Originality/value

From a theoretical point of view, this work contributes to the CI field by analysing the nature of the main facilitators companies can find when implementing these initiatives. Thus, not only does this study provide a hierarchy of the most important facilitators, but also classifies them. As far as authors are concerned, this is the first attempt to categorise CI facilitators.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Frances Jørgensen, Harry Boer and Frank Gertsen

The innumerable accounts of successful implementation of kaizen in Japan during more than 40 years has led to the expectation that continuous improvement (CI) might offer…

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Abstract

The innumerable accounts of successful implementation of kaizen in Japan during more than 40 years has led to the expectation that continuous improvement (CI) might offer companies a means to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the turbulent 1980s and 1990s. However, the majority of CI initiatives within the US and Europe died within a few years. While explanations as to why these efforts have not been successful can be found in the literature, methods for rejuvenating stagnant CI programs are still lacking. In this paper, experiences from a longitudinal action research project with a middle management group are presented to illustrate how a process of facilitated self‐assessment was used to identify and address barriers to CI implementation. Through this process, a better understanding of CI implementation issues was gained and CI implementation within the company revitalized.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 23 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Jonathan L. Calof and Sheila Wright

The article traces the origins of the competitive intelligence fields and identifies both the practitioner, academic and inter‐disciplinary views on CI practice. An…

12620

Abstract

Purpose

The article traces the origins of the competitive intelligence fields and identifies both the practitioner, academic and inter‐disciplinary views on CI practice. An examination of the literature relating to the field is presented, including the identification of the linear relationship which CI has with marketing and strategic planning activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Bibliometric assessment of the discipline. Findings reveal the representation of cross disciplinary literature which emphasises the multi‐faceted role which competitive intelligence plays in a modern organization.

Findings

The analysis supports the view of competitive intelligence being an activity consisting dominantly of environmental scanning and strategic management literature. New fields of study and activity are rapidly becoming part of the competitive intelligence framework.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis only uses ABI Inform as the primary sources for literature alongside Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) and Competitive Intelligence Foundation (CIF) publications, particularly the Journal of Competitive Intelligence and Management. A more comprehensive bibliometric analysis might reveal additional insights. Simple counts were used for analytical purposes rather than co‐citation analysis.

Practical implications

Attention is drawn to the need for the integration of additional, complementary fields of study and competitive intelligence practice. It is clear that today's competitive intelligence practitioner cannot afford to rely on what they learned 20 years ago in order to ensure the continued competitive advantage of their firm. A keen understanding of all business functions, especially marketing and planning is advocated.

Originality/value

While there have been bibliographies of competitive intelligence literature there have been few attempts to relate this to the three distinct areas of practice. This article is of use to scholars in assisting them to disentangle the various aspect of competitive intelligence and also to managers who wish to gain an appreciation of the potential which competitive intelligence can bring to marking and business success.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Patrick De Pelsmacker, Marie‐Luce Muller, Wilma Viviers, Andrea Saayman, Ludo Cuyvers and Marc Jegers

The objective of the study was to compare competitive intelligence (CI) practices of exporters in South Africa and Belgium.

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Abstract

Purpose

The objective of the study was to compare competitive intelligence (CI) practices of exporters in South Africa and Belgium.

Design/methodology/approach

An e‐mail and postal survey in a sample of 292 Belgian and 309 South African exporting companies was carried out in which CI‐practices and opinions and attitudes towards CI were measured.

Findings

Most respondents report a “CI culture” in their companies. South African and Belgian exporters are, however, not yet well equipped and not very active to conduct effective CI, especially in the areas of planning, process and structure, data collection, data analysis, and especially skills development. In both countries CI‐activities are usually not organized in a separate department and, if they are, CI is mostly done in the marketing and sales department. Managers from both countries consider similar types of information important, and they rely on similar sources of information. Although the responsibility for CI is more a top management issue in Flanders than it is in South Africa, South African companies have on average a longer tradition of organized CI‐activity and more full‐ and part‐time staff is involved in CI‐activity. These differences can be attributed to the fact that, as compared to Belgium, South Africa is an emerging export country in which the need for more formalised CI‐activity focusing on the collection of relevant data is more apparent.

Originality/value

This is the first comprehensive study of CI‐practices in the two countries. The results lead to a number of recommendations for the exporting companies in both countries and in general add to the knowledge of the position of CI in companies.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Christopher D. Milner and Barbara M. Savage

This paper aims to make a contribution to existing knowledge regarding how service-based organisations establish and sustain incremental performance improvement. Alongside…

1852

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to make a contribution to existing knowledge regarding how service-based organisations establish and sustain incremental performance improvement. Alongside a review of existing continuous improvement (CI) evolution theory, the longitudinal study draws a comparison between two units of analysis within a leading UK financial service provider.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an interpretive philosophy and inductive nature, the study uses a multi-qualitative methodological design. The multi-embedded case study, conducted over a three-year period, allows for an intensive review and in-depth exploration. The longitudinal time horizon makes use of a narrative enquiry, reflecting upon behaviour and allowing the researcher to gain access to deeper organisational realities. A thematic analysis of empirical data offers insight into the evolution of CI over almost a decade of activity.

Findings

The findings establish that there are numerous obstacles faced and a wide variety of methods, tools and techniques that may be blended together under the auspices of a formalised CI programme. The challenge is in sustaining, embedding and associating value from CI within the everyday life of the infinitely complex structures and prevailing cultures of organisations; ideally involving all staff, emphasising on CI in all things, at all levels, all the time, forever.

Originality/value

Evidenced through a thematic narrative, the paper answers the call for existing frameworks of CI evolution to be tested within the private and service sectors. The research offers an application and reflection upon the Bessant et al.’s (2001) maturity model against the CI evolution in a real world scenario.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 November 2018

Matteo Devigili, Tommaso Pucci and Lorenzo Zanni

This paper aims to investigate the brand identity drivers used online by wineries and to assess cluster identity from the analysis of firms’ specific branding strategies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the brand identity drivers used online by wineries and to assess cluster identity from the analysis of firms’ specific branding strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Chianti, Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino wine clusters (located in Tuscany, Italy) were selected as the set for this study. A total of 452 wineries websites were analyzed using a text frequency query, and the results were further examined through a discriminant analysis.

Findings

The theoretical framework was modeled after a careful analysis of the literature and is composed of three macro-areas of identity drivers: locational, product/process and social attributes. The analysis of winery websites shows the presence of all the drivers examined, which explain not only the wineries’ specific strategies but also the drivers of a particular cluster’s brand identity. A discriminant analysis highlighted that some drivers are able to explain the unique characteristics of the three clusters.

Originality/value

This research seeks to build a holistic investigation of all the identity drivers used by firms online. The specific brand identity focus and the holistic approach can enrich both academics and practitioners with a framework of current branding strategies.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Peter Brödner and Erich Latniak

This paper presents two basic approaches of generating innovation and improved business performance (so called “low road” and “high road” approaches) and describes…

792

Abstract

This paper presents two basic approaches of generating innovation and improved business performance (so called “low road” and “high road” approaches) and describes organisational requirements which are likely when these approaches were applied. Based on these ideal types, empirical data are provided on recent changes of organisational structures and the use of human resources from two representative surveys in Germany. The findings indicate that there is only a limited range of organisational changes in the German industry.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2002

Sheila Wright, David W. Pickton and Joanne Callow

There is a danger of allowing competitive analysis to receive less than adequate attention in the marketing‐planning process as it is subordinated to a customer‐driven…

5031

Abstract

There is a danger of allowing competitive analysis to receive less than adequate attention in the marketing‐planning process as it is subordinated to a customer‐driven focus. Clearly important though customers are, they should not dominate marketing strategy and planning to the exclusion of other influential groups, one of these being competitors. With this in mind, a pilot research project was undertaken to gain a better understanding of how UK companies conduct competitive intelligence. From this pilot, a tentative typology of companies was developed to reflect four attributes of competitive intelligence activity: attitude, gathering, use, and location. Further research was subsequently undertaken to corroborate the findings of the pilot study, test the appropriateness of the typology and further develop the classification definitions. The research has resulted in a typology that illustrates a continuum of behaviour on the four strands of investigation. From this, an understanding of CI best practice can be deduced.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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