Kaizen And Organizational Culture In Manufacturing Firms In Kenya
The underpinning principle of KAIZEN (Japanese word for continuous improvement) is the use of various problem-solving tools for the identification and solution of work-based problems. The aim is for improvement to reach new ‘benchmarks’ with every problem that is solved. To consolidate the new benchmark, the improvement must be standardized. Continuous improvement (CI) as a collection of activities that constitute a process intended to achieve performance improvement. In manufacturing, these activities primarily involve simplification of production processes, chiefly through the elimination of waste. In service industries and the public sector, the focus is on simplification and improved customer service through greater empowerment of individual employees and correspondingly less bureaucracy. Acquisition and use of skills for process analysis and problem solving are seen as fundamental to CI in the private and public sectors. Organizational culture of firms in the manufacturing industry is influenced by diverse cultural values of people including: their family structures, educational structures, religious organizations, associations, forms of government, work organizations, law, literature, settlement patterns, and buildings. All of these reflect common beliefs that derive from the common culture that determine organizational performance. The study established that there was positive correlation on Kaizen practices and organizational culture in relation to performance of manufacturing companies.. The study established that motivation among employees like; inability of management to involve them in decision making, lack of promotion, recognition of hardworking employees, lack of training, salary increment and poor working environments were factors that affected Kaizen practices within the organization context. Therefore, this study recommends that management to motivate employees using both monetary and non monetary rewards for better performance.