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What are the advantages of Kaizen over a Tayloristic approach (applied in the Ford factories) with respect to quality management?
Which measures can you suggest to avoid an exploitation trap when applying Kaizen in a company?
In the Kaizen concept, change is taken as a way of life whereby it takes place in a continuous manner. The approach is so obvious and natural such that it may fail to be recognized though it is taking place. The Kaizen concept simply implies improvement and has various advantages over the Tayloristic approach used in the Ford case study. The foremost thing is that Kaizen utilizes the inclusion method whereby all the stakeholders in an organization take part in the change process. This implies that the top management, the middle management, supervisors and workers play a role in the change at different capacities. This involvement of all the concerned stakeholders in the quality improvement process ensures that there is no misunderstanding or feeling of exclusion. This can help in boosting morale amongst the different individuals and avoid rebelion. Another advantage of Kaizen concept is that it incorporates different aspects in the change process. The different aspects combined together are customer orientation, total quality control, quality control circles, suggestion system, automation quality improvement, just-in-time, zero defects, small group activities, cooperative labor-management relations and new product development. The combination of these aspects ensures that a viable outcome is achieved. The combinationof Total quality Management and the Company Wide Quality Qontrol helps organizations to generate a way of thinking that is process oriented. The drastic change which is practised in the tayloristic process involves high level of investment unlike in the Kaizen approach which is continuous and takes place with small amount of investment. This makes the Tayloristic approach more expensive as compared to the kaizen approach.
In the event that the Kaizen concept is misused, it can have a exploitation trap that can be detrimental to the quality imrovement process. To control these detrimental effects some measures need to be taken. The management should ensure that it educates the different stakeholders concerning what is needed in the entire process of change and the anticipated outcome. This would involve enlightening them of what their roles would be in the entire process. Additionally, there should be leadership in the quality improvement change process. The leadership would ensure that the change process is driven as it should be. The leadership should ensure that there is adequate communication between different individuals and groups. This communicatio would help in ensuring harmony and corporation. Freedom of expression should be enhanced in the organization so that the various group members are able to give their views concerning the process. The views given by different people should be considered keenly and implemented. The relationships between the top management and the subordinates should be enhanced; this would ensure that there is cordinal working relationships between members. In the decision making process, all the individuals who take part in driving the change process should be involved. In case problems arise amongst members, they should be solved in an amicable manner and within the shortest time possible. Procrastination should be avoided in dealing with issues which when left unattended can cause havoc in the organization. Lastly and most important the different parties should set common goals and work as one to achieve them.