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Conceptualizing continuous improvement: Implications for organizational change


  • Choi, Ty


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Ty, 1995. "Conceptualizing continuous improvement: Implications for organizational change," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 607-624, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:23:y:1995:i:6:p:607-624

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Walsham, G, 1992. "Management science and organisational change: A framework for analysis," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
    2. Quinn, James Brian, 1982. "Managing strategies incrementally," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 613-627.
    3. Showalter, Michael J. & Mulholland, Judith A., 1992. "Continuous improvement strategies for service organizations," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 82-87.
    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. Yen-Tsang, Chen & Csillag, João Mário & Siegler, Janaina, 2012. "Teoria da ação racional na competência de melhoria contínua: abordagem comportamental," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 52(5), September.
    2. Halkos, George, 2012. "Importance and influence of organizational changes on companies and their employees," MPRA Paper 36811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Forza, C. & Salvador, F., 2001. "Information flows for high-performance manufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 21-36, March.
    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. Sharp, J. M. & Irani, Z. & Desai, S., 1999. "Working towards agile manufacturing in the UK industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 155-169, May.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.


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