Behind the Learning Curve: Linking Learning Activities to Waste Reduction
This exploratory research on a decade of Total Quality Management in one factory opens up the black box of the learning curve. Based on the organizational learning literature, we derive a quality learning curve that links different types of learning in quality improvement projects to the evolution of the factory's waste rate. Only 25% of the quality improvement projects---which acquired both know-why and know-how---accelerated waste reduction. The other 75% of the projects either impeded or did not affect waste reduction. In complex and dynamic production environments, locally acquired knowledge is difficult to disseminate. The combination of know-why and know-how facilitates its dissemination.
Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
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