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Exploring the sustainability of improvement activities: the long-term development of a suggestion scheme
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Ergonomics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2002 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The practice of working with improvement activities is widespread in organisations today. Improvement activities are part of the new ISO 9000 standard, and could be in the form of Six Sigma programs, suggestion schemes, or process orientation, for example. However, such activities are not unproblematic: many programmes have a tendency to decline, even after successful implementation in the organisation. The loss of investments and management credibility could be severe after an end of the activities.

The purpose of the thesis is to create an understanding of factors contributing to the long-term sustainability of improvement activities within an organisation. A case study has been performed at a company, Cloetta Produktion AB, which has had an active suggestion scheme since the implementation in 1993.

Factors that were identified as influencing sustainability were; (1) People participating need to have a personal interest or gain in the activities. (2) The improvement activity needs to be easy to work with for employees in the organisation. The tasks of running the improvement activities should not be too overwhelming for one person: -Their normal day-to-day work has to go on in the organisation. (3) The activities need to be adaptable to new circumstances that evolve in the organisation. Managers and employees could lose their interest, or leave their employment. Others will have to take over and the activities will have to be adjusted to their interests or ability. (4) Commitment of champions and managers are vital for the survival of such schemes. However, champions might change over the years. It is important to be sensitive to employees having a sincere interest in the activities, they could be the new champion. (5) Having suggestions rejected now and then did not discourage employees to submit suggestions. Furthermore, high rewards did not lead to higher frequency of activity: -Employees receiving high level rewards was not more active than after receiving a medium level reward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2002. , p. 65
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 950Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 63
Keywords [en]
Continuous improvements, Change, Survival, Longevity
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145993Local ID: LiU-Tek-Lic-2002:23ISBN: 9173733598 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145993DiVA, id: diva2:1193568
Available from: 2018-03-27 Created: 2018-03-27 Last updated: 2019-08-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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