The role of Japanese expatriates when Japanese companies transfer kaizen principles to their overseas affiliates

Kodo Yokozawa, H.J. Steenhuis, E.J. de Bruijn

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Abstract

This paper examines the challenges faced by Japanese manufacturers during the process of transferring kaizen to overseas subsidiaries. Case study research was conducted among l5 Japanese manufacturers in the Netherlands. The first-level analysis confirms the conclusions from the literature that the major issues during the process of kaizen implementation abroad are low managerial commitment, communication difficulties, and high labour turnover. However a second-level analysis reveals that the use of Japanese expatriates itself turns out to be the root cause of these major problems. This study suggests that an effective approach for successful kaizen transfer involves installing a local managing director who is committed to kaizen implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
JournalJournal of strategic management studies
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Japanese manufacturing companies
  • MNC
  • IR-104310
  • International kaizen transfer
  • expatriates
  • METIS-281225
  • Netherlands

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