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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Máire Kerrin

Continuous improvement (CI) is argued to be a key mechanism in increasing competitive advantage for organisations. Research in this area has predominantly focused on…

Abstract

Continuous improvement (CI) is argued to be a key mechanism in increasing competitive advantage for organisations. Research in this area has predominantly focused on questions such as “how to” introduce, develop and sustain CI within single organisations. However, there have been few attempts to examine these issues in more extended applications of CI, for example, in the supply chain. Through the illustration of one case study organisation, this article seeks to explore the type of models and structures appropriate for CI along the supply chain.

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Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

Máire Kerrin

Continuous improvement (CI) programmes have been recognised as one way of contributing to the productivity and efficiency within the manufacturing setting. However, the…

Abstract

Continuous improvement (CI) programmes have been recognised as one way of contributing to the productivity and efficiency within the manufacturing setting. However, the development of a sustainable CI programme has proved more problematic and in some cases fails to proceed any further than one‐off improvement activities. The research presented here illustrates the utility of Bessant and Caffyn’s framework for the development of CI capability, by assessing the structure of CI within one case study organisation. The structure of the CI programme and examples of CI activities provide evidence of the link to top down strategic business targets. The discussion suggests that the organisation has moved to a “goal oriented CI” where there is formal deployment of strategic goals through the structure of the CI activities and the relationship with business activities. Practical and theoretical implications of using this framework are considered.

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

Ian Winfield and Máire Kerrin

Relates how the arrival of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Derby, UK, prompted the setting up of a research project to study the impact on regional businesses. Baseline…

Abstract

Relates how the arrival of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Derby, UK, prompted the setting up of a research project to study the impact on regional businesses. Baseline surveys were conducted in the Derbyshire region revealing a marked swing towards modern, socially‐based manufacturing methods, including lean production, cellular manufacturing, just‐in‐time component supply and teamworking. Contends that this swing is congruent with national findings. When the Toyota supply chain was examined using survey and extended case‐study analysis, the research uncovered significant differences in the way supply chain firms approach and implement changes in manufacturing, compared with other matched, non‐supply chain firms. Toyota UK appeared able to pass on valuable knowledge and expertise to its component suppliers. Examines and further explains this process of inter‐firm learning and collaboration.

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Journal of Management Development, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Ian Winfield and Maire Kerrin

Outlines a research project being carried out within the East Midlands,which is examining change in management ideas owing to the presence of alarge Japanese car…

Abstract

Outlines a research project being carried out within the East Midlands, which is examining change in management ideas owing to the presence of a large Japanese car manufacturer. If management ideas are found to alter, there will eventually follow the implementation of new ideas in both production practices and employment practices. This will make itself felt throughout the region. Change will come in the implementation of new ideas and techniques, some of which are successful, others not. What the research will investigate is how senior managers′ ideas and strategies develop and change over time as a direct result of Toyota′s presence. Using well‐established techniques the study will track changes by conducting surveys and in‐depth interviews. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be used to map the flow of changed practices through the business network.

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Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Eamonn Ferguson, Máire Kerrin and Fiona Patterson

How do individuals structure their knowledge? How does this structure vary as a function of training? What are individuals’ implicit theories of personality? How do…

Abstract

How do individuals structure their knowledge? How does this structure vary as a function of training? What are individuals’ implicit theories of personality? How do individuals perceive their organizational culture? These are all important questions facing occupational/organizational psychologists. Describes the technique of multi‐dimensional scaling (MDS) analysis and shows how it might be applied to these questions.

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Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Máire Kerrin

This article provides a descriptive account of the impact of new production methods and the consequences for the internal dependency relationship. The case study examples…

Abstract

This article provides a descriptive account of the impact of new production methods and the consequences for the internal dependency relationship. The case study examples illustrate the nature of the internal dependency relationship under the new production methods and attempts to assess how this internal dependency relationship interacts with increasing devolved responsibility, problem solving and continuous improvement at source, and the use of increased information at shop floor level. Implications for future management of these dependencies are examined.

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Employee Relations, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Máire Kerrin and Nick Oliver

Mechanisms for increasing participation of employees in problem‐solving activities such as continuous improvement (CI) programmes often include the use of problem‐solving…

Abstract

Mechanisms for increasing participation of employees in problem‐solving activities such as continuous improvement (CI) programmes often include the use of problem‐solving teams. Teams can support problem solving by emphasizing accountability for the production process within the work unit, thereby increasing the sense of responsibility for (local) problems. However, it is unclear how effort within these organisational forms should be rewarded. This article describes the use of problem‐solving teams within a UK automotive component company, and examines the implications for human resource policy, in particular for the reward and recognition systems. The article outlines the outcomes that ensued when two reward systems existed, one for team‐based activities and another for individual suggestions. The contradictions of the two systems are considered in the context of the organisation’s historical individualistic approach to reward systems.

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Personnel Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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