Title: Effectiveness of different development paths in continuous improvement: empirical results from a (new) methodological approach

Authors: Davide Aloini, Antonella Martini, Luisa Pellegrini

Addresses: Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2, Pisa, 56100, Italy. ' Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2, Pisa, 56100, Italy. ' Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2, Pisa, 56100, Italy

Abstract: We could synthesise the content of our contribution by using the following metaphor: who is the best driver? The one who learned to drive with a driving-instructor or a self-taught driver? Out of metaphor: how continuous improvement (CI) should be developed? Is a company that follows a linear approach in the CI development more effective than one that follows a |casual| approach? Starting from different interpretations (and contradictions as well) in the literature on how CI develops (from the CI maturity model on), we provide a new methodological approach, based on an operative definition of linear development and an ad-hoc test, performed on an international database of 452 companies. The article is, therefore, a contribution to the development of an empirically-based model of CI development.

Keywords: continuous improvement; maturity models; cluster analysis; ANOVA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2011.041677

International Journal of Technology Management, 2011 Vol.55 No.1/2, pp.6 - 27

Published online: 29 Jul 2011 *

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