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The impact of shop floor management tools on Kaizen: a study of Lean implementation in Sino-Japanese automotive joint ventures

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


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Japanese Kaizen consists of two practices, Quality Control Circles (QCCs) and Teians (individual suggestion schemes). These are used in combination with shop floor management tools to achieve sustained improvement. 5S (sorting, streamlining, systematic cleaning, standardisation and sustaining), waste removal, visual management and standard operations are the four building blocks for shop floor management. However, there is a lack of empirical studies that have explained the relationship between these tools in detail. This paper provides a new insight into the implementation of these four tools and identifies how they interact with QCCs and Teians. The research used an empirical research design with data obtained from 398 respondents in nine Sino-Japanese automotive joint-ventures. Structural Equation Modelling was used for Path Analysis. The model included the four tools with paths to the QCCs and Teians constructs. The results showed that only three of the four direct paths to Teians were significant (5S, waste removal, and visual management). The explanation is that these three tools increased employees’ skills and experience which helped them to identify small-scaled problems and develop solutions within their work area. Only standard operations had a significant direct path to QCCs. They clearly specify and document operations, which provides a framework for QCCs addressing larger-scale, project-based improvements

Publication metadata

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

Editor(s): Grubbstrom, RW; Hinterhuber, H

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 18th International Working Seminar on Production Economics

Year of Conference: 2014

Online publication date: 24/02/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN: 0925-5273