Keywords: continuous improvement, motivation, implementation, surveys, The Netherlands
Continuous improvement in The Netherlands: a survey-based study into current practices
Continuous Improvement (CI) is a well-known and consolidated concept in management literature and practice, and is considered vital in today's business environment. In 2003, a survey, which is part of the international CINet survey, was conducted in The Netherlands in order to gain insight into current practices and the evolution of continuous improvement over the past five years. This article describes the results of the Dutch survey, from a sample of 51 companies. The main motives found for continuous improvement were customer satisfaction, productivity, quality, and delivery reliability. CI contributed to several performance areas, but the implementation of CI was fraught with many difficulties. It appears that it is difficult for companies to design and implement an approach towards continuous improvement that is in line with their own perceptions.