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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2019

Nancy Bouranta, Evangelos Psomas, Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza and Carmen Jaca

Literature refers to the key factors of total quality management (TQM) based on studies carried out in individual countries. However, few studies focus on studying the TQM…

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2543

Abstract

Purpose

Literature refers to the key factors of total quality management (TQM) based on studies carried out in individual countries. However, few studies focus on studying the TQM factors in service companies based on multinational data. The purpose of this paper is to empirically identify the key TQM factors and their impact on internal and external customer performance measures across different countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The research questions regarding the TQM factors and their effects were examined using a sample of service organisations from three countries (131 from Greece, 70 from Mexico and 151 from Spain). TQM factors and their impact on employee and customer satisfaction were analysed separately for each country. Exploratory factor analyses, coupled with multiple linear regression analyses, were conducted.

Findings

The key TQM factors identified are common among the three participating countries and can be summarised as follows: quality practices of top management, process management, employee quality management, customer focus, and employee knowledge and education. The adoption level of these five key factors of TQM varies across service organisations in different countries. The results also confirmed that some of the TQM elements are antecedents of customer- and employee-focused performance.

Practical implications

Multinational service organisations may use such an instrument to evaluate TQM implementation among worldwide operations and then benchmark their performance. In addition, an understanding of similarities and differences among countries would help managers around the world to address difficulties of TQM implementation related to the country culture.

Originality/value

Previous studies have compared key TQM factors across different countries in manufacturing, but overall, there has been a little attempt in the literature to analyse the adoption of TQM factors among service firms, as well the relationships between quality improvement and performance across different geographical regions.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2018

Daniel Carnerud, Carmen Jaca and Ingela Bäckström

The purpose of this paper is to depict how Kaizen and continuous improvement (CI) are represented in scientific journals focusing on quality management (QM) from the 1980s…

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3130

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to depict how Kaizen and continuous improvement (CI) are represented in scientific journals focusing on quality management (QM) from the 1980s until 2017. Additionally, the study aims to examine how Kaizen is studied and described and how the relationship between Kaizen and CI is portrayed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies a mixed methods approach to search for tendencies and outlines concerning Kaizen and CI in four scientific journals focusing on QM and two focusing on OM. The data set contains entries from 1980 until 2017, which makes it possible to depict how Kaizen has evolved over more than 30 years.

Findings

The findings show that Kaizen and CI attained special interest in the mid-1990s, after which interest appears to have decreased. However, the findings imply that a regenerated interest for the areas spiked post 2010. In addition, the results indicate that Kaizen is on the one hand accepted by one part of the management community but on the other hand completely ignored by the rest. Finally, the data illuminate a need to strengthen and clarify Kaizen’s theoretical basis and its relationship to CI.

Practical implications

If an aspiration exists to increase the success rate of Kaizen implementation, the results from the study highlight the need to address and clarify epistemological, terminological and theoretical issues.

Originality/value

Prior data mining studies pinpointing how Kaizen and CI have evolved over the last 30 years appear not to exist.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2018

Carmen Jaca, Marta Ormazabal, Elisabeth Viles and Javier Santos

The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology that is based on the concept of environmental comfort and can serve as a tool that can help companies and employees…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology that is based on the concept of environmental comfort and can serve as a tool that can help companies and employees to implement Kaizen projects. This methodology focuses on the worker’s participation in analyzing and developing improvements related to their workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is focused on the development of a methodology that encourages worker participation in improvement activities, through the analysis of their working conditions. For this purpose, the proposed methodology was developed in accordance with the dimensions of workplace comfort proposed by Vischer. The employees start working on the analysis of problems and their solutions through the logical framework approach, as it is a tool that encourages worker participation and consensus. The developed methodology was applied in a company, with three different groups of people, which enabled the authors to test its utility.

Findings

The findings reveal that the proposed methodology is effective in initiating workers in the path of Kaizen. The employees who applied this methodology were able to propose improvement actions that addressed the problems and opportunities that they had previously detected. Moreover, the questionnaire that was used to validate the methodology and was administered to employees shows that the methodology is useful in preparing them for adopting continuous improvement (CI) programs.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology presented in this paper has been applied and evaluated by a small number of employees. These limitations suggest future research recommendations.

Practical implications

This participatory methodology could be used by different types of companies to initiate employees on the path of CI, even if they are not familiar with improvement programs or methodologies. In addition, its use could improve the capabilities of employees in areas such as participatory analysis, problem identification and proposal of objectives. These capabilities are necessary in any Kaizen project. As a result of the application of this methodology, the companies could obtain a list of areas of improvement related to their work and propose actions to work on.

Originality/value

The paper presents the use of environmental comfort in the workplace as the first step in accomplishing a Kaizen project, with a focus on the employee involvement and consensus.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Carmen Jaca, Luis Paipa-Galeano, Elisabeth Viles and Ricardo Mateo

The purpose of this paper is to describe a readiness programme designed to increase employees’ awareness of order and cleanliness as a way of building the necessary…

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1030

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a readiness programme designed to increase employees’ awareness of order and cleanliness as a way of building the necessary foundation for implementing and sustaining continuous improvement processes. In this paper, the authors propose a new readiness programme based on the principles of 5S, with the aim of strengthening employees’ motivation and involvement prior to 5S being implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on case study methodology, followed by a programme of four structured activities. The validity of the programme is shown through the implementation of the activities in two different organizations.

Findings

The readiness programme was applied before 5S was successfully implemented. The degree of awareness and motivation of the programme participants improved as a result of these activities. Moreover, the activities increased people’s motivation to participate in improvement activities.

Originality/value

Applying a readiness programme before implementing 5S can help organizations to achieve and sustain improvement activities, thus increasing worker commitment and motivation.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Marta Ormazabal, Elisabeth Viles, Javier Santos and Carmen Jaca

Environmental management (EM) is becoming increasingly important in all types of organizations. The food industry represents the top industrial sector of the Spanish…

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental management (EM) is becoming increasingly important in all types of organizations. The food industry represents the top industrial sector of the Spanish economy; however, there is still little knowledge about how it is managed environmentally. The purpose of this paper is to present a descriptive analysis of the Spanish food sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This study undertook a descriptive analysis based on probabilistic sampling surveys from food companies in Spain. The survey was sent out to 900 companies obtaining 128 answers.

Findings

The results of this study show that companies with an EM standard tend to have a more developed system and a greater presence of EM tools and actions. Moreover, statistical differences were identified among the characteristics of companies and various factors that affect the evolution of their EM.

Originality/value

There are no studies that reveal a clear picture of the status of EM in the Spanish food industry. This study presents a clear starting point that might help policy makers, consultants, researchers and other parties to set new improvement routes so companies do not get stuck in their progress toward environmental excellence.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Daniel Jurburg, Elisabeth Viles, Carmen Jaca and Martin Tanco

Continuous improvement (CI) is regarded as a powerful approach to achieve business excellence. However, the implementation is not simple as it involves managing a…

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1177

Abstract

Purpose

Continuous improvement (CI) is regarded as a powerful approach to achieve business excellence. However, the implementation is not simple as it involves managing a considerable amount of tangible and intangible factors throughout the whole organization. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap by presenting first-hand information about how companies really implement and organize their CI processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on semi-structured interviews in ten high performing companies in the Basque Country, a region in northern Spain well known for its business quality. The objective was to analyze the state of their CI processes, putting special focus on how the organizational structure integrates with the CI processes and what are the characteristics of the corresponding measurement system.

Findings

The study shows a lack of company-wide focus on CI, little written evidence of previous improvement activities, unclear improvement process owner, and poor use of adequate measurement systems to monitor CI.

Practical implications

Managers should understand that is not enough to guarantee their own commitment and provide the structure, since in order to become learning organization, a different holistic approach towards the CI process must be adopted.

Originality/value

While most previous work on this field have focused primarily on how to implement different techniques in order to achieve better productive performance, this study presents empirical research from a more holistic approach, assessing the characteristics affecting CI by considering strategy, structure, and the measurement system.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2013

Carmen Jaca, Elisabeth Viles, Martin Tanco, Ricardo Mateo and Javier Santos

Teamwork is one of the most powerful tools to ensure success across any activity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that actively contribute to the…

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4161

Abstract

Purpose

Teamwork is one of the most powerful tools to ensure success across any activity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that actively contribute to the effectiveness of teams. This research looks at two different types of teams: care delivery teams representing healthcare and improvement teams representing the manufacturing industry. The aim is to provide greater knowledge about the application of team work factors in different environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews about teamwork factors were conducted with 17 leaders of teams from healthcare and 22 leaders from manufacturing industries. The responses were categorized into different levels according to the application of each factor. Then, the factors were analyzed to draw conclusions about the different approaches to teamwork and their application.

Findings

Most of the factors analyzed are highly applied in both sectors. However, we found significant differences between hospitals and the manufacturing industry when it comes to factors such as strategies, feedback on results, leadership, participation and communication.

Originality/value

Measuring each factor in two different sectors (healthcare and industry) has yielded noteworthy findings and the best practices for their implementation.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

Carmen Jaca, Elisabeth Viles, Ricardo Mateo and Javier Santos

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to evaluate the importance of the factors reported in the literature as enablers of Continuous Improvement (CI) programmes and to…

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1480

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to evaluate the importance of the factors reported in the literature as enablers of Continuous Improvement (CI) programmes and to determine the perception of managers of different companies in the Basque Country and Navarre (Spain) regarding the relevance of these factors to their improvement programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 15 elements have been considered to be key issues for the sustainability of CI programmes. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 36 companies in order to assess how the companies value the factors and how the factors are applied and measured.

Findings

The findings regarding the application and evaluation of such factors have revealed that companies are focused on the agents associated with the achievement of results. Other factors, such as management commitment or the promotion of team working, are highly scored and applied, but few companies evaluate them or take actions to improve their application.

Originality/value

This paper analyzes the application of some factors considered to be enablers or key factors for the sustainability of continuous improvement systems. Furthermore, it examines the mechanisms or indicators which are used by some companies to measure the application of those factors.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Marta Zarraga-Rodriguez, Carmen Jaca and Elisabeth Viles

The aim of this paper is to confirm whether the factors that act as enablers of team effectiveness in professional context are also relevant for team effectiveness in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to confirm whether the factors that act as enablers of team effectiveness in professional context are also relevant for team effectiveness in higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

From a review of the factors that act as enablers of team effectiveness in professional contexts, this paper explores whether they are also relevant in learning environments, in particular, in higher education. After conducting a literature analysis, a Delphi study was conducted to obtain a consensus proposal of a set of input factors that can act as enablers of team effectiveness; next this paper explored, via questionnaire, in a specific context the perceptions of lecturers and students involved in teamwork.

Findings

A set of factors reached by consensus that seem to be enablers of team effectiveness in the specific context analyzed is presented. These factors can be the basis of future studies to generalize their validity.

Originality/value

There are many studies that identify the factors that act as enablers of team effectiveness in professional environments. The set of input factors that emerged in this study would be a useful starting point for making higher education institutions and lecturers aware of the importance of taking these factors into account when using teamwork as an educational methodology. Fostering these factors will help higher education institutions to generate shared team mental models (TMMs); these TMMs, in turn, influence team effectiveness.

Details

Team Performance Management, vol. 21 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Martín Tanco, Carmen Jaca, Elisabeth Viles, Ricardo Mateo and Javier Santos

Since the field of healthcare was a latecomer to the quality movement, knowledge transfer has generally flowed in one direction, from industry to healthcare. However…

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5367

Abstract

Purpose

Since the field of healthcare was a latecomer to the quality movement, knowledge transfer has generally flowed in one direction, from industry to healthcare. However, organisations can also be enriched by healthcare. In particular, this paper aims to show industry that important lessons can be learned regarding how teamwork is generally managed within healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

To identify the useful lessons that healthcare can teach industry, the authors started with a brainstorming session among the members of the research team to pin‐point the lessons based on their experience with healthcare and industrial environments. Afterwards, an exhaustive review of the relevant literature from the last ten years was carried out.

Findings

Industrial organisations need to develop teamwork frameworks focused on involving every employee in cross‐disciplinary, empowered and trained teams. Moreover, from a team perspective, special care must be shown when defining clear roles, focusing on end clients, formulating shared objectives and facilitating internal communications.

Practical implications

The ten lessons from healthcare teamwork best practices believed to be the most important are given in the paper. Although some of these lessons may not be completely new concepts for industrial organisations, the paper shows how healthcare develops, spreads and applies these concepts in the real world.

Originality/value

The paper summarises, in ten useful lessons for organisations, healthcare's best teamwork practices in the literature.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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