Title: Standardisation without standardisation? A case study of Toyota Motor Corporation

Authors: Manuel F. Suarez-Barraza

Addresses: EGADE Business School, Mexico, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe, Av. Carlos Lazo 100, Col. Santa Fe, Mexico DF, Mexico

Abstract: Organisational routines are central features of human organisations. While recognised as an essential aspect of organised work, the study of organisational routines has been at the centre of an academic debate. We conducted a single case study research in one of the plant of Toyota Motor Corporation. In this participatory research we accompanied practitioners in the application of process improvement methodologies during a six-month stay. Based on this empirical study, we propose a macro and micro theory framework using a metaphor: a ship and an anchor. The findings of this research can be an effectively a guide for practitioners (managers) wishing to apply or already applying process improvement efforts in their organisations.

Keywords: organisational routines; standardisation; non-routines; competitive advantage; TPS; Toyota production system; process improvement; Toyota Motor Corporation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2011.044183

International Journal of Product Development, 2011 Vol.15 No.4, pp.157 - 176

Received: 12 Nov 2010
Accepted: 19 Jul 2011

Published online: 26 Nov 2011 *

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