Chapter 1

Kaizen and Total Quality Management

Japanese companies are known for their customer orientation and their high-quality products. Efficient business processes therefore play a major role in Japanese management, and many Japanese management concepts have been adopted and successfully integrated into Western management techniques and businesses. The most famous concept in a Japanese firm is kaizen, or continuous improvement, which is often considered a philosophy and aims at improving and perfecting all management processes within a firm. Another concept, which has become successful in Western firms, is the 5S System, which helps organize business and production processes within the firm.

The high quality with which Japanese products ...

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