Innovation is central to organisational efficiency, and continuous improvement (CI) has been shown to be central to effective innovation in companies (Bessant, 1997). While organisations globally spend vast amounts each year on CI education and training, not enough are satisfied with its effectiveness (Lu and Betts, 2011). Lack of standards in certification risks the credibility of CI programs among industry and practitioner communities (Setter, 2010).
Comparing the requirements of different CI certifications, there are wide variations in criteria used (Snee, 2010; Marx, 2008), in areas such as training time, assessment methods, project requirement, and inclusion of financial savings. This has made it difficult for industry to assess the quality of such training programs and its impact on the innovative work behaviour (IWB) of individuals/groups/organisations (Janssen, 2000). IWB organisations are characterised by a high degree of idea generation, idea promotion and idea implementation.
It is important to assess if the substantial investment in CI training and accreditation (CITA) has helped to change the daily habits and mind-sets of employees, termed as ‘Kata’ in Japan (Rother, 2010), involved in CI implementation. Within this research, attention will be paid in detailing the causal link between CITA and Kata, and the peculiar role played by ‘IWB’ as a mediating construct. The research will address the following questions:
•How does the variation in CITA impact on developing IWB in organisations?
•How does the Kata approach differ from the traditional CITA approach?
•What is the link between the Kata approach and IWB in organisations?
Applicants are strongly advised to contact the primary supervisor Dr Maneesh Kumar at [email protected]
or on +44 (0)29 20875276 to discuss the project prior to completing an application.
This studentship is very generously funded by the ESRC and Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe, and it consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,057 p.a. for 2015/16, updated each year).
Academic criteria: 1st or Upper 2nd Class undergraduate degree, and preferably also a Master's degree, in a relevant subject (such as Business & Management, Human Resource Management, or Psychology) with a score of at least 65%.
Residential requirements: For full details see http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/funding/R2690.html