A survey of continuous improvement practices in the United Kingdom and Mexico

Borges, Luis A.J. and Greasley, Andrew (2005). A survey of continuous improvement practices in the United Kingdom and Mexico. IN: Quality innovation knowledge. Sohal, Amrik and Cooney, Richard (eds) UNSPECIFIED.

Abstract

With the advent of globalisation companies all around the world must improve their performance in order to survive. The threats are coming from everywhere, and in different ways, such as low cost products, high quality products, new technologies, and new products. Different companies in different countries are using various techniques and using quality criteria items to strive for excellence. Continuous improvement techniques are used to enable companies to improve their operations. Therefore, companies are using techniques such as TQM, Kaizen, Six-Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, and quality award criteria items such as Customer Focus, Human Resources, Information & Analysis, and Process Management. The purpose of this paper is to compare the use of these techniques and criteria items in two countries, Mexico and the United Kingdom, which differ in culture and industrial structure. In terms of the use of continuous improvement tools and techniques, Mexico formally started to deal with continuous improvement by creating its National Quality Award soon after the Americans began the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The United Kingdom formally started by using the European Quality Award (EQA), modified and renamed as the EFQM Excellence Model. The methodology used in this study was to undertake a literature review of the subject matter and to study some general applications around the world. A questionnaire survey was then designed and a survey undertaken based on the same scale, about the same sample size, and the about the same industrial sector within the two countries. The survey presents a brief definition of each of the constructs to facilitate understanding of the questions. The analysis of the data was then conducted with the assistance of a statistical software package. The survey results indicate both similarities and differences in the strengths and weaknesses of the companies in the two countries. One outcome of the analysis is that it enables the companies to use the results to benchmark themselves and thus act to reinforce their strengths and to reduce their weaknesses.

Divisions: Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
Event Title: 7th International Conference on Quality, Innovation and Knowledge Management
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2005-02-16 - 2005-02-18
Published Date: 2005
Authors: Borges, Luis A.J.
Greasley, Andrew ( 0000-0001-6413-3978)

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