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Applying Gemba‐Kaizen in a multinational food company: a process innovation framework

Applying Gemba‐Kaizen in a multinational food company: a process innovation framework Purpose – The Gemba‐Kaizen approach is a key business process strategy employed by companies (multinationals also) to enhance their manufacturing performance. However, whilst there is significant research information available on implementing management systems in a sequential manner, there is little information available relating to the application of this approach to provide a single and highly effective methodology for process innovation in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach in multinational companies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develop and apply a process innovation framework in terms of methodology for multinational companies. The research question that governs the study is: How is the Gemba‐Kaizen approach applied in an organisational context such as that of a multinational food company in Mexico? Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory case study was conducted. One multinational food company (chocolate) which has been established in Mexico for at least 19 years was selected. The paper chronicles the design and application of a process innovation framework in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach. In total, four methods were used to gather data: direct observation; participative observation; documentary analysis; and semi‐structured interviews. Findings – This paper proposes a process innovation framework using the Gemba‐Kaizen approach. The development, refinement and implementation of a process innovation framework in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach has been achieved, working closely with a multinational food company. Consequently, as a result of the application, a conceptual framework was established, based on the results of comparing theory and fieldwork: this provides a glimpse into the relationship of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach with other improvement methodologies, known as Process Redesign, in the organisation analysed. Practical implications – Derived to describe the case study on how to apply the Gemba‐Kaizen approach through process innovation methodology, the paper may prove to be of value to practitioners and managers involved in the field. Similarly, a section on managerial implications has also been included. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the limited existing literature on the Gemba‐Kaizen system and subsequently disseminates this information in order to provide impetus, guidance and support towards increasing the development of companies, in an attempt to move the Mexico manufacturing (food) sector towards world‐class manufacturing performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

Applying Gemba‐Kaizen in a multinational food company: a process innovation framework

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/17566691211219715
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The Gemba‐Kaizen approach is a key business process strategy employed by companies (multinationals also) to enhance their manufacturing performance. However, whilst there is significant research information available on implementing management systems in a sequential manner, there is little information available relating to the application of this approach to provide a single and highly effective methodology for process innovation in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach in multinational companies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develop and apply a process innovation framework in terms of methodology for multinational companies. The research question that governs the study is: How is the Gemba‐Kaizen approach applied in an organisational context such as that of a multinational food company in Mexico? Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory case study was conducted. One multinational food company (chocolate) which has been established in Mexico for at least 19 years was selected. The paper chronicles the design and application of a process innovation framework in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach. In total, four methods were used to gather data: direct observation; participative observation; documentary analysis; and semi‐structured interviews. Findings – This paper proposes a process innovation framework using the Gemba‐Kaizen approach. The development, refinement and implementation of a process innovation framework in the context of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach has been achieved, working closely with a multinational food company. Consequently, as a result of the application, a conceptual framework was established, based on the results of comparing theory and fieldwork: this provides a glimpse into the relationship of the Gemba‐Kaizen approach with other improvement methodologies, known as Process Redesign, in the organisation analysed. Practical implications – Derived to describe the case study on how to apply the Gemba‐Kaizen approach through process innovation methodology, the paper may prove to be of value to practitioners and managers involved in the field. Similarly, a section on managerial implications has also been included. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the limited existing literature on the Gemba‐Kaizen system and subsequently disseminates this information in order to provide impetus, guidance and support towards increasing the development of companies, in an attempt to move the Mexico manufacturing (food) sector towards world‐class manufacturing performance.

Journal

International Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 23, 2012

Keywords: Mexico; Multinational companies; Food industry; Process management; Continuous improvement; Gemba‐Kaizen; Framework

References