Application of Kaizen as an international approach to managing change by Unga holdings limited
Githuku, Jennifer Wangari
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Change is a constant reality in life and businesses being a part of everyday life are affected by the ever changing dynamics of the business environment. Effective change management is therefore a fundamental requirement in any organisation’s survival or success in the current world. . Most organizations have adopted a planned change management so as to address the threats and the weaknesses and capitalize on the opportunities and strengths as they implement change. Different tools and methods have therefore been developed to drive and manage changes in the organizations by different scholars such Lewin and Kotter have developed a three stepped and eight stepped approaches to change management. Japanese companies however seemed to use a different approach to change management and this led to their companies such as Toyota becoming very competitive in the global market. They named this tool Kaizen which is derived from Japanese words ‘ Kai’ and ‘zen’ which mean ‘change’ and ‘good’ respectively. The study sought to establish the international change management practices adopted through Kaizen and the challenges encountered at Unga Holdings Limited. The research design used for the study was a case study and five interviews were carried out using an interview guide. The findings of the research showed that although top management initiated the changes at Unga Holdings, there was continual involvement and support of all the employees and key stakeholders in the application of Kaizen in the change management programmes. This included from the formation of the vision and mission statements to the continual monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the organization.