Inderscience Publishers

Reinventing suggestion systems for continuous improvement

This article reports an experiment to increase the effectiveness of a suggestion system by deliberately applying principles of the kaizen and performance management. Design rules for suggestion systems are derived from these theories. The suggestion system that resulted differs from traditional suggestion systems in a number of aspects. For example, in the new system, line managers have a role in judging and rewarding ideas. All in all, the system has shorter lead-times, more focus on small improvements and does more to motivate participation. Also, it is demonstrated that the application of these design rules can lead to a considerable increase of the number and value of suggestions. A "modernised" suggestion system is a core element for a continuously improving organisation.

Keywords: kaizen, continuous improvement, suggestion systems, performance management, motivation

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