Factors Affecting International Transfer of Kaizen

Kodo Yokozawa
University of Twente, The Netherlands

Harm-Jan Steenhuis
Eastern Washington University, USA

Erik-Joost de Bruijn
University of Twente, The Netherlands

So far, the literature on the international transfer of kaizen is inconclusive with regard to what influences successful transfer. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature by studying the influence of organization structure and culture. Furthermore, since kaizen is ambiguously used, another purpose it to determine whether personal initiative is related to kaizen. The study was interview oriented and conducted at Japanese subsidiaries in the Netherlands. The results indicate that organic structures and clan-oriented cultures are the best for kaizen transfer whereas hierarchical cultures are not conducive to successful kaizen transfer. Furthermore, it was found that personal initiative is positively correlated with kaizen.

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