Keywords: continuous improvement, improvement team, shop floor involvement, contingency theory
Theory and practice of continuous improvement in shop-floor teams
Most publications about Continuous Improvement (CI) stress the importance, and describe practical applications, of CI. Practicable, i.e. useful and usable, theories that help organisations to make appropriate decisions when adopting, implementing, operating and continuously improving a CI system are relatively few. Concentrating on one particular form of CI, i.e., shop-floor improvement teams, the aim of the present article is to contribute to the development of such a practicable theory about CI. Based on insights given by contingency theory and empirical observations, the article explores and explains the functioning of shop-floor improvement teams and their contribution to the CI.