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What Is Kaizen?

Teamwork is an essential part of kaizen.
Kaizen is founded upon five elements, including suggestions for improvement.
Orderliness is among the five rules for a good environment relating to kaizen.
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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2014
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In business management, kaizen is a Japanese tradition which is now used internationally, modified by each culture to best suit their own business environments. A literal translation of the term is "to become good through change". At its most basic the concept of kaizen is one of restructuring and organizing every aspect of a system to ensure it remains at peak efficiency.

Kaizen is founded upon five primary elements:

In addition to the foundations, a number of principles exist in kaizen. These include standardizing as many aspects of the corporation as is possible, removing all inefficiency, and the five rules for a good environment:

While many Western models to increase business productivity look at radical shifts to create drastic changes and immediate improvements, kaizen takes a continuous, long-term approach to improvement. It views business productivity as a continually unfolding process. The emphasis, therefore, is on the constant bettering not only of one's relation to the workplace, but of oneself as a person.

This emphasis makes companies utilizing the approach much more oriented towards the well-being of their employees, with a more people-centric view by management. Unlike many Western management techniques, which treat employees as numbers to be crunched for maximum efficiency, kaizen takes the opposite outlook, proposing essentially that a happy employee is a productive employee.

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Discuss this Article

bjnathvani
Post 9

What is the full name with the meaning of keizen?

anon330225
Post 8

On paper it sounds good but, it truly only has specific applications. Business is a blanket term that is used to cover far too great of a span.

In industry, only one aspect truly has any foothold and that's keeping the place clean. Everything else, there is no time for. When you have testing that needs to be carried out in a specific time in a specific way there is no time to sit in a circle and talk about how you feel about each other, that's just fluff. Time is money and if you are not effective, you are removed.

anon301495
Post 7

Baby steps, baby steps. With shrinking labour numbers in many areas I suggest that the "velvet glove" with employees will cost less in turnover for increased productivity per the long term. As per "union," buy the top out.

anon238787
Post 4

I know that Porsche of North America insists on a complete understanding of the Kaizen Model to be considered for employment. That is why I looked up the definition.

watson42
Post 3

Kaizen sounds to me like the argument made by union workers in western countries since the industrial revolution, that better treatment leaders to better productivity. In this case, seeing the workplace as more of a home leads to more positive things getting done in the workplace. While I know next to nothing about business, it sounds good to me.

anon8015
Post 1

what specific examples can you give that demonstrate an application of the kaizen approach to managing organizations?

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