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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza and José Á. Miguel-Dávila

Despite the abundant literature in the private sector, a significant gap was detected in the public sector where there were only a few academic efforts to appraise or…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the abundant literature in the private sector, a significant gap was detected in the public sector where there were only a few academic efforts to appraise or assess the implementation of the Japanese approach. The likely reason for this lack of literature is the low implementation of Kaizen that has been evidenced over the years in the public sector. Public organizations have a large number of recommendations at their disposal which are vague, abstract and even contradictory. Accordingly, the assessment of the implementation of Kaizen represents a theoretical gap, the filling of which is both necessary and vital to the body of knowledge that represents the application of continuous improvement in a public setting. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to evaluate the design, management and implementation of Kaizen projects in local governments through the analysis and comparison of empirical data with regard to a theoretical conceptual scheme found in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted using a case study strategy. The case studies were conducted in three Town Halls (two in Spain and one in Mexico) with active and sustained implementation of Kaizen projects. It was verified throughout that the selected cases applied Kaizen projects for at least five years in their work processes and public services.

Findings

As a result of the empirical work the authors proposed a new specific and individualized framework for the public sector called: “Kaizen projects conceptual schemes (KPCS), based on the cycle Plan-Do-Check-Act in order to form a theoretical and practical guide that can serve as a base for local governments seeking to implement Kaizen in their management.

Research limitations/implications

The study focussed on three Town Halls (two Spanish and one Mexican), so is not possible to generalize the results.

Practical implications

El KPCS may represent an instrument of evaluation, management, development and improvement to any Kaizen effort initiated in the public sector.

Social implications

The study focussed on public service.

Originality/value

As far as the authors are aware, this is one of the first paper to propose a framework of Kaizen in public organizations within both academic and practitioner ambits.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2018

Temitope Seun Omotayo, Udayangani Kulatunga and Bassam Bjeirmi

Kaizen in construction is a new paradigm stemming out of lean production systems. Construction companies in developing economies, such as Nigeria, have a task to innovate…

Abstract

Purpose

Kaizen in construction is a new paradigm stemming out of lean production systems. Construction companies in developing economies, such as Nigeria, have a task to innovate to liquidate in certain cases. With the aid of kaizen, which encompasses the benefit of stakeholder relationship improvement and management, profitability enhancement and delivery of projects to satisfied clients, construction companies can realise expected growth. An exploration of the critical success factors (CSF) and associated drivers within the limits of the scope is essential. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory factor analysis statistical tests categorised the CSF identified in the literature review section. A detailed sampling approach extracted 135 questionnaires under the five-point Likert scale format from a larger population in Nigeria. An exploration of important drivers and iteration of eigenvalues combined with asymptotic significance of the drivers provided the CSF and significant drivers.

Findings

Construction management function, operational efficiency, construction business ethics and construction cost management were the CSF established from the exploratory factor analysis tests. It was confirmed that kaizen can be adopted in Nigerian construction companies with reflections on the principal drivers for the CSF.

Research limitations/implications

The exploration of the CSF and drivers associated with kaizen implementation can be applied to other developing countries with considerations of implementation in terms of cost and time.

Originality/value

The identification of CSF provides ample opportunity for consideration of kaizen in construction companies. The findings of this study are a basis for investigations into cost and time implications of kaizen adoption in construction companies.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 67 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Gao Shang and Low Sui Pheng

Kaizen or continuous improvement is a renowned Japanese management philosophy implemented in many industries all over the world. It is geared towards the everyday worker…

Abstract

Purpose

Kaizen or continuous improvement is a renowned Japanese management philosophy implemented in many industries all over the world. It is geared towards the everyday worker and management, and aims to continually improve the workplace, even on a small scale. The extent of implementation in China is unknown. This paper seeks to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has the objective of filling a gap by addressing the implementation issues facing kaizen in a project setting, and employs qualitative methods to investigate the application of kaizen within large Chinese construction firms. The material for this study is taken from interviews of 27 Chinese building professionals from 16 large Chinese firms in 2011.

Findings

The interview results indicate that different types of activities associated with kaizen have been adopted by Chinese construction firms at the project level.

Research limitations/implications

There are considerable challenges identified in this study. This includes the lack of a supporting culture, compressing schedules, limited resources and especially the lack of professionals with sufficient understanding of kaizen. In order to put Chinese construction firms in a better position to implement kaizen, this study concludes with a number of strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Originality/value

The respondents' perceptions of kaizen, as well as its possible applications in real life projects, were sought. In addition, the infrastructure of kaizen within the Chinese construction project setting was also investigated in this study.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Eileen M. Van Aken, Jennifer A. Farris, Wiljeana J. Glover and Geert Letens

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework for the design and management of a Kaizen event program where short‐term improvement projects (Kaizen events) are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework for the design and management of a Kaizen event program where short‐term improvement projects (Kaizen events) are systematically used to introduce rapid change in targeted work areas, often relying on lean work system principles.

Design/methodology/approach

To develop the framework and the assessment approach, a comprehensive literature review and a field study of Kaizen event programs in three organizations were conducted. To illustrate the potential usefulness of the framework and the assessment approach, this paper presents a case study of how the framework was applied to design and improve a Kaizen event program in the Belgian Armed Forces.

Findings

Use of the framework as a design and assessment tool appeared to make the Kaizen event program more effective in the case study organization. Specific areas of improvement identified included: clearly defining event goals, scheduling extended follow‐up activities, defining measures to track results, assigning roles for Kaizen event evaluation activities, and sharing lessons learned in areas of the organization outside the work processes targeted by Kaizen events.

Originality/value

With the increased use of lean work system practices in recent years, many organizations are using Kaizen events to rapidly introduce change and to create a culture of continual improvement (or kaizen). However, organizations lack systematic, research‐based guidance on how to best design and implement Kaizen event improvement programs and how to best assess results. The proposed framework attempts to address these gaps.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 59 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2018

Fernando Gonzalez-Aleu, Eileen M. Van Aken, Jennifer Cross and Wiljeana J. Glover

Evidence suggests that hospitals are having problems achieving continuous improvement project (CIP) goals or sustaining their results. Therefore, the purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Evidence suggests that hospitals are having problems achieving continuous improvement project (CIP) goals or sustaining their results. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify those critical success factors (CSFs) most strongly related to CIP success in hospitals (Lean-Kaizen project, Lean Six Sigma project, Six Sigma projects, and Quality Improvement projects).

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective survey was applied to any CIP leaders/facilitators from hospitals that conducted at least one CIP during the last two years.

Findings

Three main findings were obtained from the 116 valid responses. First, the level of importance of 47 out of 53 CSFs to achieve CIPs success in hospitals was assessed as very important or higher (4 or higher on a six-point scale). Second, there are important differences between the CSFs to achieve CIP success in hospitals in this research and previous investigations. Third, the type of CIP affects the level of importance of 16 out of 53 CSFs to achieve CIP success in hospitals.

Originality/value

Practitioners involved with CIPs activities in hospitals could use the knowledge extracted from this investigation to improve the impact of their CIPs. Future research should continue in two lines: test if the 53 CSFs for CIPs measure a unique factor and identify the main relationships or paths between CSFs for CIPs and CIP outcomes.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Lang Jung Cheng

The purpose of this paper is to explore a Six Sigma implementation within a Kaizen mechanism, how the Kaizen events and methodology evolved, as well as the critical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a Six Sigma implementation within a Kaizen mechanism, how the Kaizen events and methodology evolved, as well as the critical success factors as the methodology developed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins with a review of the literature on Six Sigma and its Kaizen factors, followed by an empirical study a Kaizen event framework that was developed for a Taiwanese firm.

Findings

The results of the Six Sigma system proposed in this paper show that each organization used a unique Kaizen mechanism when initiating a Six Sigma project. A Kaizen event within a Kaizen mechanism can be used to obtain valuable insights about Six Sigma implementations. Firms should be able to achieve better management decisions after conducting self-assessments using the model.

Originality/value

This paper provides documented evidence of Six Sigma implementations with Kaizen events flow units, representative of aerospace industry. This study should prove to be of a great value to academics, consultants, researchers, and practitioners of Six Sigma.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2008

Manuel F. Suárez‐Barraza1 and Tony Lingham

As organizations become more team oriented, research on teams continues to increase especially involving how teams contribute to organizational performance and…

Abstract

Purpose

As organizations become more team oriented, research on teams continues to increase especially involving how teams contribute to organizational performance and effectiveness. Although there has been existing research on Kaizen teams in the private sector, very little research has included Kaizen teams in the public sector. In this paper, we present a method to study Kaizen teams in a local Spanish government that have been using Kaizen teams for more than ten years.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research was adopted for this study. Twenty teams participated in the study by filling out the Team Learning and Development Inventory (TLI) proposed by Lingham (2004). In addition, we interviewed members of the teams in order to clarify and assure our quantitative results.

Findings

Based on the findings, we propose that Kaizen teams should practice both Continuous (CI) and Process Improvements (PI) in their projects. We also propose that Kaizen teams should not be teams skilled only at developing better improvement processes (both CI and PI) for the organization but that such teams should also be skilled at engaging in team development using both CI and PI processes internally – a Kaizen within Kaizen teams approach.

Research limitations

Its based in one case study. However, it is working paper and the research project still is developing.

Practical Implications

Serve as a guide to practitioners (Public managers) who desire to understand how their Kaizen teams involves both internal (conversational spaces) and external (methodology) perspectives that would contribute to both team and organizational effectiveness. In this paper, we focus on the Internal Processes (both CI and PI) using the TLI as an effective method for Kaizen teams to engage in the Kaizen process.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to look at team’s performance using Team Learning and Development Inventory in Spain’s public sector. It is also the first to mention about the relationship of the team’s performance and the implementation of process improvement methodologies in Spain local government environment.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Temitope Seun Omotayo, Prince Boateng, Oluyomi Osobajo, Adekunle Oke and Loveline Ifeoma Obi

The purpose of this paper is to present a capability maturity model (CMM) developed to implement continuous improvement in small and medium scale construction companies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a capability maturity model (CMM) developed to implement continuous improvement in small and medium scale construction companies (SMSCC) in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-strategy approach involving qualitative studies of SMSCC in Nigeria was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively selected construction experts in Nigeria to identify variables essential for continuous improvement in SMSCC. Data collected were thematically analysed using NVIVO. Subsequently, a system thinking approach is employed to design and develop the CMM for implementing continuous improvement SMSCC, by exploring possible relationships between the variables established.

Findings

CMM provided a five-level approach for the inclusion of investigated variables such as team performance; culture; structure; post-project reviews, financial risk management, waste management policy and cost control. These variables are factors leading to continuous improvement in SMSCC, implementable within a six to seven and a half years’ timeline.

Practical implications

The system thinking model revealed cogent archetypes in the form of reinforcing loops that can be applied in developing the performance of SMSCC. Continuous improvement is feasible. However, it takes time to implement. Further longitudinal studies on the cost of implementing continuous improvement through CMM a knowledge transfer project can be initiated.

Originality/value

A methodical strategy for enhancing the effectiveness and operations of SMSCC in developing countries can be extracted from the causal loop diagram and the CMM.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Brian Vo, Elif Kongar and Manuel F. Suárez Barraza

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, a case study on the application of lean production principles in a manufacturing facility is presented to demonstrate the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, a case study on the application of lean production principles in a manufacturing facility is presented to demonstrate the impact of frequent and systematic use of a Kaizen event on quality and delivery performance. Second, the detailed description and analysis of the Kaizen event and its impact are provided, including a comprehensive analysis of the role of Kaizen events on employee participation and motivation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes a Kaizen event’s case study data with the help of various waste detection and elimination tools and techniques. Changes in overall productivity along with potential long-term improvements in the delivery process are also analyzed and documented.

Findings

Pre- and post-quality measures are provided to demonstrate the results of the event on the production quality and on the performance of the overall manufacturing processes. Qualitative findings regarding performance measurements and the impact on the employees are reported.

Research limitations/implications

The Kaizen team applied analytical techniques to one manufacturing site in North America of a company that has a manufacturing presence in 20 different countries.

Originality/value

Kaizen studies involving packaging operations are quite limited. This study fills this gap by detailing the Kaizen event implementation in a packaging delivery and dispensing systems manufacturer for the cosmetic industry. The implementation of this Kaizen event is detailed along with the data and techniques utilized for process improvement. The study also reports findings regarding the impact of the Kaizen event on employee participation.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 68 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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