Title: Impact of kaizen on firm's competitive advantage in a Japanese owned company in Malaysia

Authors: Suhaiza Zailani; Mohd Rizaimy Shaharudin; Bernard Saw

Addresses: Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ' Faculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, P.O. Box 187, 08400 Merbok, Kedah, Malaysia ' School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the relevance of kaizen in today's commercial and market situation in the non-Japanese-oriented social values cultures, specifically in multicultural Malaysia. A qualitative methodology has been used to investigate the role of kaizen and its effect through a semi-structured interview Japanese owned companies (JOC) in manufacturing sector. The study found that kaizen is perceived by the top management of the JOC organisations to be critically important to maintain its competitive position. The findings also suggest that kaizen application is not dependent on having the Japanese social-oriented values. Most importantly, the study finds that kaizen could strive and be deployed strategically in the Malaysian cultural work place to build organisational dynamic capabilities. Many advantages could be obtained from the predicated of the people's efforts in kaizen which often requires behavioural change in application including underscore the transformation of management. Kaizen uniqueness is in its unrelenting continuous development of people's competences, ideas management and never ending operational process improvement. This uniqueness can be very effective as the firms' internal resource to complementing the RBV strategic framework.

Keywords: kaizen; competitive advantage; cultural differences; culture; continuous improvement; Japan; foreign owned companies; Malaysia; social values; multicultural environment; manufacturing industry; behavioural change; RBV; resource based view.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2015.071239

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2015 Vol.16 No.2, pp.183 - 210

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 18 Aug 2015 *

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