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Continuous improvement capability: assessment within one case study organisation

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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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Keywords: Automotive Components Industry; Case Studies; Continuous Improvement; Kaizen; Manufacturing; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1999

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