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    Continuous Improvement Strategies

    By: David Marutschke

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    Taking into consideration the recent structural changes in Japan's consumer market, David Marutschke presents an analysis of the continuous improvement strategies of Japanese convenience store operators. This study highlights the efforts of companies operating under lean management systems to reenergize their organizations and to identify new, dynamic, firm-specific capabilities in markets which are highly competitive and in an evolutionary stage of maturity. It challenges existing views that incrementalinnovation is directly linked to a culture of risk avoidance and a focus on organic growth. This book suggests that the Japanese strategy for continuous improvement and lean thinking is able to overcome cultural rigidity if projects that promote change include a comprehensive organizational strategy. It suggests how companies can sustain continuous long-term improvement: an objective which western firms often fail to achieve.

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