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Conceptualizing continuous improvement: Implications for organizational change


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  • Choi, Ty
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    This paper attempts to bridge the gap in the change conceptions of two different genres of literature. It brings together the literature on continuous improvement in the manufacturing field and the literature on organization change in the fields of strategic change and organization development. In the latter literature, studies describe both dramatic and discontinuous changes and disjointed but logical incremental changes. These changes are considered the territory of the top management. The continuous improvement concepts emphasize incremental changes that are continuous, concerted, and accumulative. In this case, workers are considered to play a key role in making changes. The two genres of literature are brought together to formulate a more comprehensive framework of organizational change, in which continuous incremental changes and dramatic and discontinuous changes can coexist and interrelate for more effective change processes in organizations. An example of the implementation of statistical process control illustrates this point.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

    Volume (Year): 23 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 607-624

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:23:y:1995:i:6:p:607-624

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    Keywords: continuous improvement management manufacturing organizational change quality;


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    1. Showalter, Michael J. & Mulholland, Judith A., 1992. "Continuous improvement strategies for service organizations," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 82-87.
    2. Walsham, G, 1992. "Management science and organisational change: A framework for analysis," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
    3. Quinn, James Brian, 1982. "Managing strategies incrementally," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 613-627.
    4. Abernathy, William J. & Clark, Kim B., 1985. "Innovation: Mapping the winds of creative destruction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-22, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. George E. HALKOS & Dimitrios BOUSINAKIS, 2012. "Importance And Influence Of Organizational Changes On Companies And Their Employees," Journal of Advanced Research in Management, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(2), pages 89-102, December.
    2. Forza, C. & Salvador, F., 2001. "Information flows for high-performance manufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 21-36, March.
    3. Zu, Xingxing & Robbins, Tina L. & Fredendall, Lawrence D., 2010. "Mapping the critical links between organizational culture and TQM/Six Sigma practices," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 86-106, January.
    4. Bossink, B.A.G. & Blauw, Jan-Nico, 2003. "Strategic ambitions as drivers of improvement at Daimler Chrysler," Serie Research Memoranda 0002, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    5. Fakhraddin Maroofi & Mohammad Nazaripour & Shahoo Maaznezhad, 2012. "Links Between Organizational Culture and Six Sigma Practices," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 2(4), pages 83-101, October.


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