Continuous improvement practices with Kaizen approach in companies of the metropolitan district of Quito: An exploratory study

Karla Alvarado Ramírez, Víctor Pumisacho Álvaro


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to evaluate the practice of continuous improvement in medium and large manufacturing companies and services of the Metropolitan District of Quito (DMQ); examine the benefits and difficulties in sustaining continuous improvement; and, to study the participation of the different hierarchical organizational levels in the practice of continuous improvement.

Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory study was conducted. They were selected, medium and large companies, both manufacturing and services of the DMQ. Qualitative methods used to obtain the data were: direct observation, document analysis and interviews with semi-structured depth.

Findings: The results show a preference for the use of simpler techniques to identify and solve problems such as the seven basic quality tools. Within this article describes in detail the enhancers and barriers that are presented in the maintenance of continuous improvement.

Research limitations/implications: This article uses a qualitative methodology, so their results cannot be generalized, can only be referenced using the specific context of the companies studied.

Practical implications: The study aims to have an analytical contribution. The results show economic benefits and for the human resource, considering mainly the minimization of unnecessary processes and the opportunity of professional development that is offered to the personnel, important data for those people involved in projects of continuous improvement in DMQ companies.

Social implications: The conclusions have important implications for research. Continuous improvement should take into account not only economic benefits but also human factors, same that can influence the quality of life of workers.

Originality/value: The paper presents empirical contributions for the literature by exposing of the implementation of the Kaizen concept in the Latin American context, Quito - Ecuador.


Kaizen, continuous improvement, techniques, tools, practices

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2022

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience