Keywords: action learning, action research, continuous improvement
Continuous improvement through collaborative action learning
The development of continuous improvement capability within a small firm can benefit from action learning and external collaboration with other firms. This paper describes an action research initiative with two objectives: 1) to facilitate continuous improvement of operations practice and performance through collaborative action learning in a small number of firms; and, 2) to develop an approach, of a contingent nature, to address this need which could be replicable both in Ireland and throughout Europe. In particular, the paper will describe the movement by five Irish firms towards 'World Class' operations practice and performance. A case study on one firm will be featured. The firm developed a capability to improve their operations as they participated and collaborated in the National Action Learning Program (NALP).