Kaizen or Continuous Improvement: A Conceptual Paper

By Dennis Awen.

Published by Change Management: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Kaizen or continuous improvement is a term commonly used in the Japanese automobile industry as a way of improving the quality of automobile products. Kaizen’s roots originated from Japan. Its methods and techniques are applied in continuously improving to near perfection such as learning martial arts, flower-arranging, and tea-making. It can also have potential in applications to adult learning theories. This paper serves as initial research in studying Kaizen and making similar comparisons to adult learning literature. The paper provides literature review, research questions, and a discussion on the topic.”

Keywords: Kaizen, Lesson Study, Shu Ha Ri Learning Cycle, the Five Whys Method, Reflection, Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

Change Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 318.482KB).

Dennis Awen

Doctoral Student, Adult and Higher Education, Northern Illinois University, Wheeling, IL, USA

After working in the international business field, I returned to school to obtain my master's degree in human resource development (HRD) from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. I currently am a doctoral student at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL in Adult and Higher Education. After recently returning from a trip to Korea and Japan in October–November, 2011, I was impressed by the advancements in adult education in those respective countries. I speak Korean and Japanese, and am currently studying Spanish and Mandarin. My interests are in continuous improvement (Kaizen), lifelong learning, and leadership.