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Cycles of continuous improvement

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This paper aims at increasing the understanding of the processes and dynamics of CI implementation. The paper presents findings from a longitudinal case study of how the organization is renewed by the embedding of quality-related managerial ideology. It approaches CI from the perspective of organizational renewal, and looks at implementation as a managerial ideological change process. The paper draws on multi disciplinary concepts. The concept of ideology from political science is applied. Ideology is viewed as a force of organizational renewal, in other words, as a means that exerts influence on managerial thinking and practices. The ideological perspective provides new conceptual ideas and practical insights into CI implementation. The case study shows that CI implementation is cyclical and reveals company-specific cycles. These cycles imply a challenge to management: the progress in developing CI capabilities is embedded in a rooted managerial ideology through which inimitable competitive advantages can be realized.
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Keywords: Continuous Improvement; Implementation; Organizational Change; Organizational Culture

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1999

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