We could synthesise the content of our contribution by using the following metaphor: who is the best driver? The one who learned to drive with a driving-instructor or a self-taught driver?
Out of metaphor: how continuous improvement (CI) should be developed? Is a company that follows a linear approach in the CI development more effective than one that follows a ‘casual’ approach?
Starting from different interpretations (and contradictions as well) in the literature on how CI develops (from the CI maturity model on), we provide a new methodological approach, based on an operative definition of linear development and an ad-hoc test, performed on an international database of 452 companies. The article is, therefore, a contribution to the development of an empirically-based model of CI development.
Keywords: CI development, maturity model, cluster analysis, ANOVA