Search results

1 – 10 of 17
Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 2 January 2003

Toni L. Doolen and Marla E. Hacker

Time to market, product quality, and product complexity are key organizational drivers. Many organizations have responded to these pressures by creating teams. While teams…

Abstract

Time to market, product quality, and product complexity are key organizational drivers. Many organizations have responded to these pressures by creating teams. While teams provide the right mix of personnel to respond to business and technical challenges faced by the organization, many organizations have failed to adjust their organizational processes, culture, and systems to create a context where teams can thrive. Identifying the key changes needed to support teams can be a daunting task. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of a tool that will allow organizational leaders to gain a better understanding of what organizational factors should be considered in designing an environment that will enable teams to perform at an optimal level. Previous research findings and semi-structured interviews of organizational leaders were used to develop a framework for studying these organizational processes, culture, and systems. A survey was developed to measure these different characteristics of the parent organization. Findings from the initial interviews and a pilot study utilizing the survey are summarized.

Details

Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-981-8

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Hyun Woong Jin and Toni L. Doolen

Quality Circles and Kaizen Events have resulted in productivity and quality improvements for organizations. There is limited empirical research comparing these two…

Downloads
1055

Abstract

Purpose

Quality Circles and Kaizen Events have resulted in productivity and quality improvements for organizations. There is limited empirical research comparing these two approaches. This research study was designed to understand the similarities and differences in the structure and outcomes of these two popular continuous improvement approaches in Korea and the USA. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A logic model was used to structure a comparative analysis of Quality Circles and Kaizen Events undertaken in six different organizations in Korea and the USA. A logic model framework consisting of four areas (resources, activities, outputs and outcomes) was used to assess the key components of these six improvement projects. Data for three different comparative case study project pairs were collected. Projects were matched on both manufacturer-level and project-level characteristics. Matched projects were similar in size and type of product produced.

Findings

Similarities between Quality Circles and Kaizen Events were identified in every component of the logic model. Both mechanisms were effective in driving improvements in performance and in motivating employees, even though significant differences in the project size, type, and industrial sector existed across the six different projects.

Originality/value

There was no evidence to support the conclusion that one continuous improvement approach is more or less effective than the other. Both approaches produced improvements in both technical and social system outcomes. Overall, it appears based on this study, that both Quality Circles and Kaizen Events can be successfully deployed in an organization's continuous improvement journey.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 63 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

June M. Worley and Toni L. Doolen

The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between organizational structure and lean implementation success and to explore the impact of a lean…

Downloads
3687

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between organizational structure and lean implementation success and to explore the impact of a lean implementation on the development of employee problem-solving skills. Organizations that implement lean manufacturing strategies experience widely differing results, with unexpected outcomes for some organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted using qualitative research methodologies. Specifically, a case study was performed at an electronics manufacturer in the northwestern USA over a three-month time period. The researchers collected data from a variety of sources at the manufacturing site.

Findings

Two significant findings emerged. First, the lack of dedicated personnel for the lean implementation inhibited the widespread adoption of lean practices. Second, evidence supported the role of the lean implementation in positively affecting employee problem-solving skills.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is relevant to most manufacturing organizations; however, lean implementations are likely as unique as the organizations themselves. Given that the study used a single-site case study, utilizing qualitative methods, additional research is needed to confirm the findings for a larger range of manufacturing organizations. The results do indicate, however, that an organization with fewer resources to dedicate to the lean effort may find the transformation process slow and may experience fewer performance benefits. Likewise, further empirical study would help strengthen the findings regarding the relationship between the lean implementation and noticeable improvement in employee problem-solving skills.

Originality/value

The literature stream for lean manufacturing provides examples of how lean implementations have not only noticeably affected tangible metrics related to profits and expenses but have also helped positively influence factors such as employee safety, morale and empowerment. For some organizations, considering the effect of these intangible factors before committing to a new manufacturing approach may prove useful. This study focused on exploring, in a much deeper way, through qualitative methods, how organizational structure can impact a lean implementation and how it ultimately acts as a catalyst for the increased development of employee problem-solving skills.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Jing Li and Toni L. Doolen

The purpose of this paper is to understand and measure the impact of goal clarity, goal difficulty, and management support on five social and technical outcomes for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand and measure the impact of goal clarity, goal difficulty, and management support on five social and technical outcomes for quality circles (QCs) in a Chinese company.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey scales were developed based on previous research and validated using principal component analysis. Analysis of variance confirmed the validity of aggregating individual responses to team-level measures. Models for five outcomes (team member understanding of continuous improvement, team member skills, team member attitudes, team member motivation, and technical success) were developed using multiple regressions.

Findings

Goal clarity was found to impact all outcomes. Goal difficulty was found to impact QC team member attitudes. Management support was related to employee's understanding of the value of continuous improvement and to the technical success of QC activities.

Research limitations/implications

All the QCs included in the study were part of a single manufacturing organization. To generalize the findings, data from additional companies are needed.

Practical implications

The results imply that management support is critical to improvement of processes. Even if employees wish to learn new skills, employee's efforts need to be directed, so they are closely aligned with the company's goals and objectives.

Originality/value

This appears to be the first published research study to identify the role of goal clarity, goal difficulty, and management support on both social and technical systems outcomes for Chinese QCs. The findings highlight the value of and need for clearly defined, challenging goals for QC members work on and the need for management support of QC members and QC activities.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Toni L. Doolen, Marla E. Hacker and Eileen Van Aken

The purpose of this paper is to describe a study investigating the role of organizational context on the effectiveness of engineering work teams.

Downloads
3251

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a study investigating the role of organizational context on the effectiveness of engineering work teams.

Design/methodology/approach

Previous research was used to operationalize organizational context and work team effectiveness, and a survey was developed to assess both in this research. This study was conducted within two engineering units of a high‐technology company. In total, 16 teams of engineering knowledge workers participated in the study. Correlation and path analysis were used to investigate both direct and mediated relationships between nine organizational context variables and team effectiveness.

Findings

Direct relationships between eight organizational context variables and team member satisfaction and between two organizational context variables and team performance were found. Effects of five variables on team member satisfaction were either fully or partially mediated by team processes (TP).

Research limitations/implications

This study empirically validated existing models of team effectiveness and identified multiple dimensions of organizational context that are important to the development of effective teams as measured by team member satisfaction and team performance. The study took place within a single organization. Additional research is necessary to generalize the findings.

Originality/value

A broader cross‐section of organizational context variables were included in this study than in previous studies. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by empirically studying organizational‐team relationships using intact work teams. This research addressed an increasingly important set of teams – teams of knowledge workers. Finally, this research was designed to specifically test for the existence of a mediating variable (TP).

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 31 October 2008

Toni L. Doolen, Eileen M. Van Aken, Jennifer A. Farris, June M. Worley and Jeremy Huwe

The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of an assessment methodology to empirically measure and evaluate the impact of kaizen events on organizational…

Downloads
6085

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of an assessment methodology to empirically measure and evaluate the impact of kaizen events on organizational performance, including human resource outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A field study of two kaizen events held within a single organization utilizing both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews and organizational documents) data was conducted. Sustainability of outcomes was also studied.

Findings

This study empirically illustrates that, even within a single organization, kaizen events may have varied success. Management support was found to be related to human resource outcomes. Positive attitudes at the conclusion of a successful event, however, did not automatically translate to sustained improvements. Additionally, the kaizen event team with a more limited scope was better able to meet targeted business objectives.

Originality/value

The methodology described can assess the impact of kaizen events on business performance and human resource outcomes; the latter has largely been ignored in the kaizen events scholarly literature. This study demonstrates that initial success in business outcomes and human resource outcomes are not necessarily correlated and that success may vary over time. Leaders need to pay close attention to follow‐up mechanisms to ensure sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 57 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Stephen K. Hacker and Toni L. Doolen

This paper presents a new paradigm for conceptualizing the relationship between individual, family, and work. The language and focus of the balance approach is limiting…

Downloads
2731

Abstract

This paper presents a new paradigm for conceptualizing the relationship between individual, family, and work. The language and focus of the balance approach is limiting and keeps individuals from creating integrated lives. Based on previous research and the authors’ experiences in facilitating organizational transformation, a new view of the issue of work‐life balance is described. This approach focuses on the engagement of each individual in an organization as a whole person. Within the organization, efforts to help individuals consciously create a life’s purpose and meld this purpose with their organizational contribution avoid sub‐optimization and create the opportunity for synergistic performance.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 2 January 2003

Abstract

Details

Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-981-8

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Paul Stelson, Joshua Hille, Chinweike Eseonu and Toni Doolen

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a study of factors that affect continuous improvement (CI) project success in hospitals.

Downloads
3199

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a study of factors that affect continuous improvement (CI) project success in hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative regression analysis was performed on Likert scale survey responses. Qualitative thematic analysis was performed on open-ended survey responses and written reports on CI projects.

Findings

The paper identifies managerial and employee factors that affect project success. These factors include managerial support, communication, and affective commitment. Affective commitment is the extent to which employees perceive the change as being needed or necessary.

Practical implications

The results highlight how managerial decisions, approaches to communication – including communication before, during and after CI projects affect project success. The results also show that success depends on the way employees perceive proposed changes. This suggests the need for a more individualized approach to CI, lean, and broader change initiatives.

Originality/value

This research is the first to fuse project success and sustainability theory to CI projects, beyond Kaizen events, in healthcare environments. The research is particularly important at a time when healthcare organizations are required to make rapid changes with limited resources as they work toward outcome-based assessment and reimbursement rules.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Dwi Larso, Toni Doolen and Marla Hacker

The ability of production organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market with new products requires flexibility. The relationship between manufacturing…

Downloads
1293

Abstract

Purpose

The ability of production organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market with new products requires flexibility. The relationship between manufacturing flexibility and the performance of organizations in new product development is not well characterized. The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a flexibility model focused on new product performance in manufacturing organizations empirically in one industrial sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypothesized relationships between manufacturing flexibility, new product type, and new product performance are empirically tested using survey data from 273 companies, representing a range of US electronic manufacturers.

Findings

Factor and cluster analysis identifies eight distinct flexibility dimensions and a hierarchy among these dimensions. The relationships between the identified flexibility dimensions and new product performance, as tested through correlation analyses, are found to be dependent on the type of new product development.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, this study highlights the complexity of the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and new product performance. This study is conducted in a specific sector, so the results cannot be generalized. More complex mathematical models, requiring a larger data set, would be helpful in further separating out direct and indirect effects of variables, such as new product type, on the relationship between flexibility and performance.

Practical implications

With multiple dimensions of flexibility, organizational leaders must choose the dimension(s) that is/are most appropriate to develop. This study helps provide insight into which dimensions of flexibility a particular plant should focus on, given a particular type of new product.

Originality/value

The study has made a significant contribution by identifying the dimensions of flexibility related to new product performance and in proposing a hierarchical structure for these dimensions. This study has also made a contribution by providing empirical support for the role of new product type as a moderator in the flexibility/performance relationship.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

1 – 10 of 17