Enabling continuous improvement: a case study of implementation
de Jager, Bertus, Minnie, Chris, de Jager, Johan, Welgemoed, Marita, Bessant, John and Francis, David (2004) Enabling continuous improvement: a case study of implementation Journal of manufacturing technology management, 15 (4). pp. 315-324. ISSN 1741-038X
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Widespread recognition of the strategic imperative posed by a turbulent external environment has brought into focus a key challenge for firms – that of increasing involvement in innovation by the staff in the organisation. Much research has suggested that organisations that mobilise a large proportion of their staff to participate in innovation can make significant gains. Achieving this depends on a systematic process of organisational development in which the facilitative patterns of behavioural routines are extended and reinforced, so that they become a major culture change. This paper reports on progress with this organisational development methodology using a detailed case study of its use within a major mining company in South Africa. It makes use of a reference model framework to help structure and direct the change process towards enabling higher involvement in innovation. In particular it explores practical issues involved in moving a large organisation along a path of high involvement innovation.
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