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The role of teians and QCCs in implementing kaizen

Lookup NU author(s): J Ma, Professor Tom McGovern, Professor Christian Hicks


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Previous research has discovered that many companies outside of Japan have experienced difficulties in implementing Kaizen and sustaining long-term improvements. Kaizen is a unifying and company-wide strategy and is a central part of Lean manufacturing. It comprises two important practices: Quality Control Circles (QCCs) and Teians (individual suggestion schemes). This study critically evaluated the implementation of these two practices and assessed their impact on long-term performance. The work adopted a multiple case study approach. Data were obtained from 398 respondents in nine Sino-Japanese automotive joint-ventures. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the relationships between QCCs, Teians and performance outcomes. It was found that QCCs can generate more visible and tangible improvement outcomes, whereas Teians facilitate more intangible changes. QCCs and Teians are complimentary and when combined provide a mechanism for improving and sustaining performance in both the short and long term. The practices lead to the development of employees’ knowledge and skills, and helps develop a culture that promotes continuous and long-term improvement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ma J, McGovern TW, Hicks C

Editor(s): de Lima, E.P.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 22nd International Conference on Production Research

Year of Conference: 2013