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Employees motivation and openness for continuous improvement: comparative study in Polish and Japanese companies

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Currently, companies must change and evolve to keep pace with the changing environment, customers’ requirements and to be better than their competitors. The changes result from the need to adapt the products to new customers’ requirements as well as to maintain competitive prices of their products. Therefore, companies should be flexible to guarantee short lead time and minimalize their costs to offer a good price for the customers. At the same time, companies should create good work environment for their employees in order to get them involved in improvement processes. In order to survive and develop companies should motivate and involve their employees into a continuous improvement process in different areas of the company. Unfortunately, as based on the companies’ practice and previous research, in many cases employees are not willing to engage in the company development. Continuous improvement is the basis of the philosophy of Quality Management and Lean Manufacturing, which come from Toyota Production System (TPS). The TPS eventually spread throughout the world, and it is held up as an example of the proper management of a production system. The assumptions of TPS system were used to build systems in other companies, but not always with the same success as it was in Toyota. For this reason, the authors of this paper seek to answer the question of whether there are differences in engagement in a continuous improvement process between employees in a Japanese company and a Polish company operating in the same industry and realizing the similar manufacturing. In order to verify this, the research was conducted in two manufacturing companies which operate in the automotive industry. The results of the study and their analysis are presented in the work.
Słowa kluczowe
  • Rzeszow University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, Al. Powstańców Warszawy 12, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland
  • Process Improvement Japan, Nagoya, Japan
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