Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.
(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)
Lean longevity: Kaizen events and determinants of sustainable improvement
Typically, a kaizen event occurs when a dedicated cross-functional team is assigned a goal to improve an area in a short period of time using lean production tools. During the last decade, kaizen events have become one of the leading mechanisms by which lean production concepts are implemented. Substantial research has been devoted to aspects of lean production, and yet few empirical studies have been conducted on kaizen events. The factors that lead to the success and sustainability of kaizen event outcomes were investigated in this study.^ This dissertation consisted of three stages of research and focused on thirteen kaizen events at eleven organizations. The first stage comprised two qualitative field studies. In the second stage, 133 surveys were administered to 64 team members and 69 non team-members and interviews were conducted with managers and facilitators. The third stage involved follow-up interviews to assess the sustainability of outcomes.^ A multi-mode analysis, including qualitative and quantitative analysis, was used to triangulate the data. The hypotheses at both the individual level and organizational level were tested using bivariate correlational analyses. Managers in this study reported that between 30 and 50 percent of kaizen event improvements backslide. This research found that non team-members’ participation in decision-making and communication promoted a climate of continuous improvement and was critical to the success and sustainability of kaizen events. Within this study, large numbers of workers in the targeted areas were not involved in the kaizen event processes. As for the team members, results indicated that they generally had a rewarding experience. However, when the scope of the project was too large, some detrimental effects were noted, such as managerial intervention in the kaizen event process and direct facilitator participation in decision-making. Too much facilitator participation in decision-making was negatively associated with team member-participation in decision-making, attainment of the goal, and a climate of continuous improvement. Finally, it was found that a team with an inappropriate skill set was positively related to a facilitator's level of participation in decision-making, and an organization's level of kaizen event experience was positively related to a climate of continuous improvement.^
Business Administration, Management|Engineering, Industrial
Michele Kowalski Burch,
"Lean longevity: Kaizen events and determinants of sustainable improvement"
(January 1, 2008).
Electronic Doctoral Dissertations for UMass Amherst.