The relationships between shop floor management and QCCs to support Kaizen

Jie Ma, Feng Jiao, Chi Keung Lau, Zhibin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop and redefine the “classic” roles of shop floor management and quality control circles (QCCs) in Kaizen. In specific, it aims to examine the linkage between shop floor management and QCCs, and test the relationships among shop floor management, QCCs and long-term Kaizen improvement outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: This study employs qualitative method by using a questionnaire to obtain data from 371 respondents in nine Sino-Japanese automotive joint-ventures. The data are analysed with the method of canonical correlation approach. Findings: The study identifies important factors to assist the adoption of shop floor management and QCCs for Kaizen. The analysis on the survey indicates that not all the shop floor management tools could help to identify improvement opportunities. QCCs are effective in addressing large problems and challenging current policies in companies, however, they have low impacts on individual learning. Research limitations/implications: The data of this study come from nine Sino-Japanese automotive joint ventures. Therefore, the sample selection is limited to these companies. The findings are able to be applied for improving the similar problems which were identified in this study. Practical implications: The study has the following practical implications, first is small shop floor problems can be identified and solved rapidly and continuously at source by shop floor management. The second one is QCCs, or other similar group-based improvement approaches take long to be fully addressed and implemented. Third, practical solutions can be achieved from small and gradual changes, and they can prevent the results backsliding to the pre-improvement stage. Finally, QCCs are hardly to achieve a better improvement alone. It requires other Kaizen approaches to support. Originality/value: This study is probably the first to explore and investigate the implementation of the four building block tools of shop floor management in real business practise, and more specific the first to discuss the relationship among shop floor management, QCCs and long-term improvement outcomes based on empirical data from Sino-Japanese automotive joint-ventures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1955
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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