Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

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KAISEN THE KAIZEN CHALLENGE With the support of top managers, the Japanese integrated quality throughout their organizations and developed a culture of continuous improvement-Kaizen. Kaizen means ongoing improvement involving everyone-top management, managers and workers. Kaizen strategy is the single most important concept in Japanese management. In the Kaizen philosophy, improvement in all areas of business serves to enhance the quality of the firm. Kaizen focuses on small, gradual, and frequent improvements over the long term. Financial investment is minimal. Everyone participates in the process; many improvements result from the know-how and experience of workers. Kaizen is a customer-driven strategy for improvement. In Kaizen, it is assumed that all activities should eventually lead to increased customer satisfaction. Kaizen has generated a process-oriented way of thinking, and management system that supports and acknowledges people?s process-oriented efforts for improvement.

KAIZEN, THE CONCEPT · Kaizen values: Kaizen means improvement. Moreover, Kaizen means ongoing improvement involving everyone.

The message of Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the organization.

· Kaizen and Management: The Japanese perceptions of Management are maintenance and improvement standards. Improving standards means establishing higher standards. Once this is done, it becomes management?s maintenance job to see that the new standards are observed. Lasting improvement is achieved only when people work to higher standards. Maintenance and improvement have thus become inseparable for most Japanese managers. Since Kaizen is and ongoing process and involves everyone in the organization, everyone in the management hierarchy is involved in some aspects of Kaizen.

· Implications of QC for Kaizen: The starting point for improvement is to recognize the problem. Kaizen emphasizes problem-awareness and provides clues for identifying problems. Kaizen is also a problem-solving process. In order to consolidate the new level, however, the improvement...