The transfer and transferability of Japanese manufacturing practices to the West

Voss, Christopher A. and Blackmon, Kate (1997) The transfer and transferability of Japanese manufacturing practices to the West. Organisations & People, 4 (2). pp. 22-28.

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Draws on data collected from two studies conducted by London Business School examining world-class production management practices to ascertain what proportion of European best manufacturing practice comprises Japanese approaches such as lean production, re-engineering, just-in-time and total quality management, and how successfully Japanese approaches can be adopted by Western companies. Compares the different approaches of companies in Japan and the West, revealing for instance that Japanese companies concentrate heavily on preventive maintenance, and studies 750 companies based in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Finland, to assess the effectiveness of their adoption of Japanese best practice. Finds that very few companies have achieved Japanese best practice, the most successful being those companies with Japanese parents, and suggests that companies need to undertake improvement programmes so that they can define what is best practice and how well they are performing. Discusses different agendas for change according to different levels of performance and best practice, and argues that best practice cannot be transferred without adaptation to an organization's own corporate culture, requiring the skills of facilitators, teamwork, a kaizen philosophy and discipline.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Corporate Culture; Europe; Finland; Germany; Japanese Management Styles; Kaizen; Manufacturing Strategy; Netherlands; Organizational Change; Performance; Preventive Maintenance; Production Management; United Kingdom
Subject(s): Operations management
Project management
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2012 13:40
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2018 14:44

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