Changing quality of life through the Personal Kaizen approach: A qualitative study

Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza, Juan Ramis-Pujol, su mi Dahlgaard-Park

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – Imai defined Kaizen as: “a means of continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. At the workplace, Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone – managers and workers alike”. According to Imai, Kaizen can take at least three forms: Kaizen management; Group Kaizen; Individual Kaizen. In this last form, the strength of the continuous improvement of this Japanese management approach is focused on the work of each person as an individual. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore how some people have applied Personal Kaizen to their personal lives in order to improve their quality of life. The research question that drives the study is: How do some people apply Personal Kaizen in order to improve their quality of life? Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory qualitative study was conducted. Using theoretical sampling, three persons who have implemented Personal Kaizen in their daily lives in order to change their quality of life were identified and interviewed. Similarly, documentary references of the three cases cited were used to generate a cross-case analysis of the methodological techniques used. Findings – This paper analyses the cases of three persons who have implemented Personal Kaizen in their lives in order to change their quality of life. The authors cross the empirical data with the theoretical framework of Kaizen and quality of life and try to corroborate three hypotheses. Research limitations/implications – This paper has the same limitations as all other qualitative research, including subjectivity of analysis and questionable generalisation of findings. Furthermore, there may well be a theoretical gap with respect to the geographic region, given that the paper only considers three individuals living in Mexico. Practical implications – The description of how three persons apply an individual Kaizen approach in order to change their quality of life may prove to be of value to other persons who wish to change their health-related behaviour. Originality/value – The study contributes to the limited existing literature on the Personal Kaizen approach and subsequently disseminates this information in order to provide impetus, guidance and support for improving individual quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-207
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Service Sciences
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Improvement
  • Individual behaviour
  • Kaizen
  • Mexico
  • Personal Kaizen
  • Quality of life

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