Title: Standardisation for incremental innovation: a case study in the Brazilian automobile industry
Authors: Waldemiro Francisco Sorte Junior
Addresses: Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco C, Sala 146, 70046-900, Brasilia-DF, Brazil
Abstract: This paper argues that formalism and standardisation are essential elements to stimulate incremental innovation in the operating core of manufacturing firms. Kaizen and total quality control are adopted as reference practices as they ensure a high level of compliance to formal rules and a great degree of commitment to a constant and systematic process of revising old standard, which results in the creation of an institutional framework that favours incremental innovation. This allows manufacturing firms to reap benefits from workers' creativeness in the long run. In addition, a case study conducted from October 2006 to October 2008 in a car assembler in Brazil identifies the lack of enforcement of formal rules and the absence of compliance to systematic procedures towards the revision of standards as the main obstacles for incremental innovation in the Brazilian automobile industry.
Keywords: standardisation; formalism; kaizen; total quality control; TQC; institutionalisation; incremental innovation; automotive manufacturing; case study; Brazil; automobile industry; continuous improvement.
International Journal of Lean Enterprise Research, 2014 Vol.1 No.1, pp.81 - 93
Accepted: 27 Dec 2013
Published online: 03 Jun 2014 *