Building on a volume of previous work on CI in the supply chain based on the CIMA model, this paper significantly extends the work of Sloan et al. (2005) and Sloan and Sloan (2006) by examining the individual contribution of all organisational departments to organisational CI. We also examine connections between CI dispersion in the organisation and motivations for the implementation of CI; organisational experience with CI; problems encountered with CI implementation; and support and tools used in implementing and monitoring CI.
Findings of this study provide support for the proposition that dispersed CI enhances the business performance benefits of CI and that the experience of CI was more positive in firms where CI was dispersed, with fewer implementation problems and higher levels of support and measurement tools. Management in organisations should give serious consideration to strategies which enhance the spread of CI activities throughout their organisations.
Keywords: continuous improvement, CI, innovation, dispersion, organisational strategy, business performance, technology management