Bringing Japanese Continuous Improvement Approaches to U.S. Manufacturing: The Roles of Process Orientation and Communications

Thomas Choi, Jeffrey K. Liker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations


Continuous improvement (CI) has played a key role in Japan's quality management. U.S. companies have begun to adopt CI in recent years. This paper studies the implementation of CI in seven U.S. manufacturing companies. We view values as the core concept of culture that impacts CI effectiveness. Using both qualitative and quantitative data with a sample of seven companies, we observe empirically a relationship between process‐oriented values and CI effectiveness. We also find that communications involving workers is strongly associated with CI effectiveness. Finally, we find an association between process orientation and communication frequency, and argue that communications act as an intervening variable between process orientation and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-620
Number of pages32
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • and Work Teams
  • Networks
  • Participation
  • Quality
  • Shop Floor Control
  • Social Issues
  • Total Quality Management (TQM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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