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Article

Wayne G. Macpherson, James C. Lockhart, Heather Kavan and Anthony L. Iaquinto

As employees in the lower ranks of a Japanese company advance through the levels of management and seniority their role in day-to-day kaizen activities shifts from that of…

Abstract

Purpose

As employees in the lower ranks of a Japanese company advance through the levels of management and seniority their role in day-to-day kaizen activities shifts from that of directly improving their own job, operations and surroundings to guiding, educating and facilitating understanding and practice. The emphasis of kaizen to the employee during career progression changes in an embedded, sequential and predictable manner. To a new employee, kaizen is a process to be implemented, something that is visible and largely provided through company training and job manuals, while not necessarily being fully understood. To the senior manager, however, one who has advanced up the corporate ladder, kaizen is tacit knowledge and accumulated experiences, and is seen as being more than just reducing costs, increasing productivity and decreasing lead times. At this point, kaizen becomes something invisible, something that can produce real influence on both the company’s profitability and the manager’s reputation. Consequently, what kaizen is actually changes from being a duty associated with employment to a matter of personal, group, collective, and organizational responsibility. The purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanism underpinning the transfer of kaizen (acknowledgement and exercise) in the Japanese workplace that results in it being sustained across multiple.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from research participants (n = 53) through a mixed-method multi-language field design comprising questionnaires and unstructured interviews conducted in genba, the workplaces of five domain-name multinational companies in Japan. Multi-level statistical analysis identified two largely mutually exclusive generational groups.

Findings

During their late 40s, employees were found to transfer their understanding of kaizen between the two forms. At this age, employees were identified to shift from being student to teacher; follower to leader; and disciple to sensei. This study identified how kaizen shifts from one generation to another; when kaizen shifts through the change in responsibility of employees; and changes in the understanding and practice that creates sustained business excellence.

Originality/value

Importantly, the study reveals how kaizen itself is a sustainable business activity in the workplace, one that Western business is struggling to emulate.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

G Wittenberg

Explores the Japanese kaizen philosophy and its application to manufacturing. The kaizen strategy is based on the process of gradual change bringing improvements to all…

Abstract

Explores the Japanese kaizen philosophy and its application to manufacturing. The kaizen strategy is based on the process of gradual change bringing improvements to all area of management and production. It is a people based system with standardisation being an essential feature. Describes a kaizen workshop held in the UK by the Kaizen Institute of Europe, with comments from the participants. Concludes with a brief history of the Kaizen Institute of Europe [KIE].

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article

Wayne G. Macpherson, James C Lockhart, Heather Kavan and Anthony L. Iaquinto

The purpose of this paper is to develop a definitive and insightful working definition of kaizen for practitioners and academics in the West through which they may better…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a definitive and insightful working definition of kaizen for practitioners and academics in the West through which they may better understand the kaizen phenomenon and its intangible but critical underpinning philosophy.

Design/methodology/approach

A phenomenological study of the utility of kaizen within in the bounds of active kaizen environments in name Japanese industrial organisations was conducted over a three-year period in Japan. The research explored how Japanese workers acknowledge, exercise, identify and diffuse kaizen in a sustainable manner.

Findings

Kaizen is found to be a broad philosophical approach to work that serves different purposes for different members of the organisation, where no universal definition appears to exist yet differing ideologies are tolerated. Kaizen in Japan has a considerably deep meaning: it channels worker creativity and expressions of individuality into bounded environments, and creates an energy that drives a shared state of mind among employees to achieve proactive changes and innovation in the workplace.

Originality/value

This paper competently bridges the Japanese-Anglosphere cultural divide in social and business contexts. It contributes to the development of practitioner understanding of the utility of kaizen in Japan through unhindered cross-cultural research methodology, enabled by researcher competency and fluency in Japanese language and culture.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Hisahiro Ishijima, Noriyuki Miyamoto, Fares Masaule and Raynold John

The purpose of this study is to see how the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach can contribute to improve the management of healthcare waste (HCW) in the regional level public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to see how the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach can contribute to improve the management of healthcare waste (HCW) in the regional level public hospitals in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed an explanatory case study framework and focused on improvement of HCW management by assessing the information obtained through the direct observation and systematic interviewing during the consultation visits and external hospital performance assessment (EHPA) and the self-administrated questionnaires as sources of evidence.

Findings

Based on the observations, 100% adoption of the 5S approach was observed in 25 of 28 regional referral hospitals (RRHs). At these RRHs, segregation of HCW management has been improved by applying color codes and symbols for establishing self-explanatory system on proper segregation. In addition, seven out of 28 RRHs applied the KAIZEN process and reduced occurrences of improper waste segregation.

Research limitations/implications

This study has the following limitations in terms of the information. The data were collected through the direct observation. Moreover, areas for the implementation of the KAIZEN vary from hospital to hospital, and only 25% of RRHs completed the KAIZEN processes for improvement of HCW management. Caveats are, therefore, needed in extrapolating the study results to other settings. Despite these caveats, the findings will provide important insights for implementing the 5S-KAIZEN approach in Tanzania and other African countries for improvement of HCW management.

Originality/value

This is an original study to provide evidence about the usefulness of the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach for improving HCW management in a low-income country in Africa.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article

Ammar Mohamed Aamer, Mohammed Ali Al-Awlaqi, Nabeel Mandahawi, Farid Triawan and Faisal Al-Madi

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza, José Angel Miguel-Dávila and Manuel Francisco Morales-Contreras

The purpose of this paper is to explore, study, analyze and implement Kaizen–Kata methodology in a service food organization (first-level restaurant), facing challenges in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore, study, analyze and implement Kaizen–Kata methodology in a service food organization (first-level restaurant), facing challenges in different operational processes that affect and influence the case company performance and customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The service organization implemented Kaizen–Kata methodology to improve one operational problem process. A case-study approach was used in this research to understand the effects of the Kaizen–Kata methodology in solving problems in their operational service process. Different Kaizen–Kata techniques and tools (histograms, Pareto chart and Ishikawa diagram) using the Plan, Do, Check, Act improvement cycle framework were used.

Findings

Successful implementation of the proposed methodology reduced the main impact of the problem’s effects (customer’s complaints, process reworking, extra-cost, delays, among others). The effects of the problem were reduced on average by 70%. Some Kaizen–Kata routines were identified in a service process environment.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the research is that this work is a just one-case study. A main generalization is not possible, because it involves a company within a company.

Practical implications

Some other service companies can use the Kaizen–Kata methodology to solve any kind of operational problem within their processes. Service managers can learn about the methodology to apply and improve their operational performance and handle customer’s complaints.

Originality/value

A continuous improvement manufacturing methodology was imported to apply in an operational service process. The Kaizen–Kata methodology contributed significantly to reduce delays, handle customer’s complaints, process reworking and deal with extra costs, among other operational problems’ effects. In addition to that, in the literature, most of the Kaizen applications are in manufacturing companies. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this was the first study of applied Kaizen–Kata in a service organization (a fast-food restaurant).

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article

Haftu Hailu Berhe

Kaizen is an umbrella concept for a management philosophy based on a set of principles and values with different tools and techniques that form part of Company-Wide…

Abstract

Purpose

Kaizen is an umbrella concept for a management philosophy based on a set of principles and values with different tools and techniques that form part of Company-Wide Quality Control. The purpose of this study to explore the empirical evidence of Kaizen philosophy practice and its effect on Ethiopian manufacturing industries, chemical companies in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

After the literature review, an exploratory empirical research, supported on a company observation, was adopted. The eight companies visit giveaway collecting annual technical reports and Kaizen award presentations. The review structure encompassed four major approaches. The first approach is conducting extensive literature review and adopting methodologies. The second approach is examining secondary data and developing SWOT analysis. The third is exploring Kaizen practices, developing framework, identifying drivers and barriers using charts, diagrams and graphs. The final approach is proposing way forward and implications based on the findings from the investigative study to emphasize the link between Kaizen practice and its effect on manufacturing industries’ performance.

Findings

The findings indicate practice of Kaizen brought in achieving monetary, nonmonetary and qualitative results. However, results vary from company to company. The average attained improvements of productivity, production volume, machine productivity and sales volume are 2.77%, 28.69%, 10.14% and 31.53% respectively. Moreover, a total of 71,932,472.19 ETB is saved by following structured framework and practice of social and technical factors. However, companies could not sustain Kaizen activities and unable to maintain the attained substantial improvements due to less effort made on some of the Kaizen practices identified as barriers on the cause and effect diagram of this exploratory study.

Research limitations/implications:

A sample size of eight companies is not adequate to generalize key findings of this study. This will be put right by carrying out further surveys in the future using questionnaire and semistructured interviews.

Practical implications

The findings of this study underlined that practice of Kaizen philosophy on chemical companies supported by structured implementation framework, full practice of drivers, eradicating barriers, sustaining practices and maintaining improvements enable in enhancing chemical companies performance through achieving quantitative (monetary and nonmonetary) and qualitative results.

Originality/value

Although there are a number of studies published on Kaizen, currently it is found that there is lack of literature on practice and effect of Kaizen philosophy. Based on this exploratory study and assessment, the framework and circumstance of Kaizen philosophy practices are providing valuable insights for chemical companies, other manufacturing industries and organizations, which will be on board on this voyage including Ethiopian Kaizen Institute, practitioners and academicians.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article

Jagdeep Singh, Harwinder Singh and Amit Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the significance of green supply chain management (GSCM) to study the impact lean practices, namely, Kaizen and innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the significance of green supply chain management (GSCM) to study the impact lean practices, namely, Kaizen and innovation management practices on organizational sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The subject of green supply chains attracts a growing interest in academic and professional literature since 1990. Questionnaire survey and structured interviews (set of questions) among the industrial professionals and academicians of northern India region have been performed to ascertain the significance of GSCM toward organizational sustainability. Structural equation modeling, Cronbach’s alpha, z-test, correlation and t-test have been used to ascertain the significance of lean practices toward sustaining organization by taking the mediating effect of GSCM.

Findings

The results signify the negative potential of combined Kaizen, innovation management and government policies on environmental thinking through supply chain. The innovation management strategies and Kaizen individually has positive influence on environment supply chain but government policies should be improved to improve the positive impact on environmental thinking through supply chain by decreasing pollution. Economic performance, environmental performance and competitive performance are significantly improved by implementing Kaizen and innovation management through GSCM.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to northern India. Moreover, selection of industry and academic organizations has been done on convenient sampling technique.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the application of lean techniques, namely, Kaizen and innovation management practices, showing how it can bring real breakthroughs in organizational sustainability through GSCM.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Khalil Ahmad Al-Hyari, Mohammed Khair Abu Zaid, Omar Suleiman Arabeyyat, Laith Al-Qwasmeh and Mohamed Haffar

The purpose of this paper is to explore the results of implementing the Kaizen approach in a caravan repairing project near the Jordanian–Syrian border in the Zaatari camp.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the results of implementing the Kaizen approach in a caravan repairing project near the Jordanian–Syrian border in the Zaatari camp.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the exploratory qualitative research approach. The data were collected through interviews and on-site observation with employees who were involved with the caravan maintenance project and have adequate knowledge and information about this project. In this process, a fishbone diagram, a quality control tool, is used to recognize and explain a causal-effect relationship under the selected Kaizen theme.

Findings

The findings suggest that the Kaizen approach was economical in terms of both money and time. Also, waste elimination can be achieved through a variety of tools and easily combined with the Kaizen approach. Implementing the Kaizen approach is an effective and reliable system that allows for the tackling of all types of inefficiencies in the caravan repairing project.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study will help policy makers and managers put together suitable and effective policies that will assist those firms in overcoming the demands of customers and competitors to deliver high quality, inexpensive products in less time through the application of the Kaizen approach. This, in turn, will lead to improved quality, efficiency and productivity in the most cost-effective way. However, these results should not be generalized since they are only confined to the context of caravan repairing project.

Originality/value

Very little research has been done that takes into account the contexts of developing countries. Additionally, most literature presents the use of Kaizen applications only in the manufacturing or production sectors. This study is the first to implement Kaizen as a continuous improvement technique in a caravan repairing project – a job shop industry different from the repetitive batch work environment that is usually associated with implementation of Kaizen. The current research should be of great interest to researchers, managers and professionals who wish to apply Kaizen approach as it is sustainable over time in similar projects.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article

Hisahiro Ishijima, Kaori Nishikido, Masashi Teshima, Sayumi Nishikawa and Eman Abdul Gawad

The purpose of this paper is to identify how the introduction and dissemination of the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach positively influence the Egyptian health sector and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how the introduction and dissemination of the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach positively influence the Egyptian health sector and its sustainability. It also seeks to encourage effective and efficient introduction of the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach into the health sectors of low- and middle-income countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The pilot program introducing the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach into five Egyptian public hospitals spanned over 13 months from January 2016 to February 2017. During the pilot program, a series of interventions occurred to introduce the approach, such as seminars on the 5S and KAIZEN approach, consultation visits and progress report meetings. Data and information were collected through conducting interviews, observing directly and evaluating the implementation progress of 5S-KAIZEN-TQM activities.

Findings

The study identified the following factors in effective and efficient dissemination of 5S-KAIZEN-TQM activities in the Egyptian health sector: restructuring the quality management structure to establish Quality Improvement Teams and Work Improvement Teams in hospitals, generating strong leadership and commitment among leaders, conducting effective in-house trainings on the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach, monitoring and following up on 5S-KAIZEN-TQM activities and introducing the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach using non-clinical sections, which could also influence the sustainability of the activities.

Originality/value

This study holds value in its clarification of meaningful ways to disseminate and encourage the sustainability of the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM approach in Egyptian public health facilities. Moreover, officials from the Ministry of Health and Population and hospital managers in Egypt can use the findings to plan and disseminate this approach nationwide.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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