Conference article

Kaizen within Kaizen Teams: Continuous and Process Improvements in a Spanish Municipality

Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza
ESADE (URL). Member of GRACO Research Group, USA

Tony Lingham
Case Western Reserve University, USA

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:130, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Organizations of today are facing an increasingly turbulent environment. Learning from concepts founded on Scientific Management such as TQM and Quality Control Circles; the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen has permeated numerous organizations across the world. Teams have been used across all levels of organizations to promote ideas and projects to aid in creating a flexible learning organization adept to survive in such chaotic and unpredictable environments. Although a plethora of successful projects and improvements have been reported and employed in organizations; most teams are usually temporary and disband after a project has been seen from conceptualization to implementation. However; in some organizations; not all teams are disbanded; they may go on to look at another project or projects that can help their organizations. Despite this burgeoning of teams to help with organizational learning and development; the teams themselves are not provided with understanding the complexity of the team experience in terms of internal processes and outcomes – a Kaizen system for Kaizen Teams. Why is this important? Teams in organizations need to have a method to understand the complex nature of its experience; measure and map out significant aspects and to be able to create concrete action steps for their own development as a team. We introduce a model and method called the Team Directed Learning and Development Inventory or TLI (Lingham; 2004) as an immediate and effective way to achieve this goal. Such as methodology would certainly be useful for teams as it would help them to engage in a team-directed learning process as a fundamental nature of their development.


Kaizen; Continuous improvement; Process Improvement; Kaizen Teams; Public Sector; Spain


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