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Coaching continuous improvement in small enterprises

Coaching continuous improvement in small enterprises This paper describes the introduction of continuous improvement (CI) in three small enterprises with employees with little educational background. The approach adopted was carefully tuned to the actual situation and conditions in the firms. A key element in the approach was that facilitating the learning process of both the employees and the management was regarded as core to the continuity of the CI activities. The research suggests that, in order to create a climate of confidence, consultants hired as external coaches to support CI activities must, on the one hand, respect the owner‐manager’s need of sovereignty and the short‐term, “flexible”, style of the small enterprise. At the same time, their role is also to support the long‐term learning process. This requires these consultants to strengthen their abilities not only to cope with different and often unforeseen situations, but also to balance short‐term and long‐term issues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Integrated Manufacturing Systems Emerald Publishing

Coaching continuous improvement in small enterprises

Integrated Manufacturing Systems , Volume 11 (3): 6 – Jun 1, 2000

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0957-6061
DOI
10.1108/09576060010320371
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper describes the introduction of continuous improvement (CI) in three small enterprises with employees with little educational background. The approach adopted was carefully tuned to the actual situation and conditions in the firms. A key element in the approach was that facilitating the learning process of both the employees and the management was regarded as core to the continuity of the CI activities. The research suggests that, in order to create a climate of confidence, consultants hired as external coaches to support CI activities must, on the one hand, respect the owner‐manager’s need of sovereignty and the short‐term, “flexible”, style of the small enterprise. At the same time, their role is also to support the long‐term learning process. This requires these consultants to strengthen their abilities not only to cope with different and often unforeseen situations, but also to balance short‐term and long‐term issues.

Journal

Integrated Manufacturing SystemsEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2000

Keywords: Small firms; Kaizen; Learning; Consultants; Coaching

References