Keywords: continuous improvement, strategy, motivation, Spain, surveys
CI practice in Spain: its role as a strategic tool for the firm. Empirical evidence from the CINet survey analysis
This article presents an analysis of the CINet survey results in Spain. Although Spain is a newcomer to Continuous Improvement (CI) practices, globalisation has stressed the need to raise the level of the firms' competitiveness in order to compete worldwide. As a consequence, the use of ISO tools has been intensely disseminated. The survey presented a modified model of CI evolution. It outlines the relevance of CI practices as a strategic tool confirming previous studies. After analysing the survey results, a factor analysis identified various critical variables. The size of the firm, management support of CI with resources, the individual CI culture, organisation structure, the use of CI tools and the experience with CI, as well as the time dedicated to CI practice, explained the sample variance. A cluster of CI excellence was detected composed of firms partially related to the automotive industry; firms with a higher CI performance also showed higher levels of productivity.