Knowledge Diffusion in Management: Kaizen in Sub-Saharan Africa

Fragkandreas, T. 2020. Knowledge Diffusion in Management: Kaizen in Sub-Saharan Africa. in: Firms, Institutions, and the State in East Asia Marburg Metropolis. pp. 89-110

Chapter titleKnowledge Diffusion in Management: Kaizen in Sub-Saharan Africa
AuthorsFragkandreas, T.
Abstract

Since the 1980s, Kaizen – i.e. the Japanese managerial strategy that stands, in a nutshell, for continuous improvement – has attracted considerable interest in advanced economies of the West. Due to its putative ability to increase product (or service) quality, productivity, employee participation and motivation, as well as by being able to minimise production costs and resource wastage in both manufacturing and service sectors, Kaizen is increasingly being seen as a promising strategy for organisations operating in ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ contexts, particularly in developing countries. This is also illustrated by the existence of a rapidly growing number of studies on Kaizen in developing countries. However, despite its growing popularity in the domains of academia, business, and policy, we still have very little knowledge about the actual processes and channels through which the Kaizen strategy travelled from the advanced economies – in particular Japan – to the developing world. To find out more about the diffusion of Kaizen – in particular, which actors, institutions and local processes are involved in the dissemination of Kaizen in developing countries, this chapter analyses the impact of scientific knowledge on Kaizen in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis confirms that the scholarly interest on Kaizen in Sub-Saharan Africa has soared since the late 2000s. It also identifies a geographically-uneven and country-specific process of knowledge diffusion and adaptation, in particular being mostly concentrated in a few countries (e.g. South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia). While this finding can be linked to the presence and activities of Japan-affiliated organisations (e.g., Kaizen institutes), it also implies that there may exist favourable adaptation institutional conditions in some Sub-Saharan countries but not in many others. Given the socioeconomic benefits derived from the adoption of the Kaizen strategy, especially for small firms and micro-enterprises, this leaves plenty of room for participatory policy action in Sub-Saharan countries that have yet to adopt the Kaizen strategy.

KeywordsKnowledge Diffusion, Kaizen, Management, Africa
Book titleFirms, Institutions, and the State in East Asia
Page range89-110
Year2020
PublisherMetropolis
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2020
Place of publicationMarburg
ISBN9783731614289
9783731614517

Related outputs

Striking the Golden Mean: Organisational Identity and Innovation in the German Games Industry
Fragkandreas, T. and Storz, C. 2022. Striking the Golden Mean: Organisational Identity and Innovation in the German Games Industry. 34th SASE Annual conference 2022 (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics). Amsterdam, Netherlands 09 - 11 Jul 2022

Three Decades of Research on Innovation and Inequality
Fragkandreas, T. 2022. Three Decades of Research on Innovation and Inequality. AHE Conference 2022 - Association for Heterodox Economics. SOAS, London, UK 06 - 08 Jul 2022

Three decades of research on innovation and inequality: Causal scenarios, explanatory factors and suggestions
Fragkandreas, T. 2022. Three decades of research on innovation and inequality: Causal scenarios, explanatory factors and suggestions. Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation. 38 (2), pp. 147-193. https://doi.org/10.13169/prometheus.38.2.0147

Innovation Systems and Income Inequality: In Search of Causal Mechanisms
Fragkandreas, T. 2021. Innovation Systems and Income Inequality: In Search of Causal Mechanisms. Birkbeck College, University of London.

"Innovation-Productivity Paradox: Implications for Regional Policy" Background paper for the OECD-EC High-Level Expert Workshop series “Productivity Policy for Places”, March 3 and 5
Fragkandreas, T. 2021. "Innovation-Productivity Paradox: Implications for Regional Policy" Background paper for the OECD-EC High-Level Expert Workshop series “Productivity Policy for Places”, March 3 and 5. Paris OECD Publishing.

Innovation Studies and Policy: A Topic-Sentiment Analysis
Fragkandreas, T., Leitzinger, L. and Liebald, M. 2021. Innovation Studies and Policy: A Topic-Sentiment Analysis. 32nd Annual EAEPE Conference 2020. Online 02 - 04 Sep 2021

Innovation Systems and Inequality
Fragkandreas, T. 2020. Innovation Systems and Inequality. European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy Workshop on Innovation Networks. Stuttgart Feb 2020

Do Innovation Systems Induce Inequality?
Fragkandreas, T. 2020. Do Innovation Systems Induce Inequality? Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics (SASE) Annual Conference 2020. Online 18 - 21 Jul 2020

Innovation and Inequality: Review and Avenues
Fragkandreas, T. 2020. Innovation and Inequality: Review and Avenues. 32nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy. (online conference) 02 - 04 Sep 2022

The Paradox of Case Study Research in Innovation Systems Studies: A Dialectical Analysis
Fragkandreas, T. 2020. The Paradox of Case Study Research in Innovation Systems Studies: A Dialectical Analysis. British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference 2020. Alliance Manchester Business School I University of Manchester 02 - 04 Sep 2020 British Academy of Management.

Critical Realism in Economics: Methodologically Weak or Untapped
Fragkandreas, T. 2019. Critical Realism in Economics: Methodologically Weak or Untapped. 2nd Vienna Conference on Pluralism in Economics. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna 15 - 16 Apr 2019

Do Innovation Systems Induce Inequality?
Fragkandreas, T. 2019. Do Innovation Systems Induce Inequality? AFEP-IIPPE International Conference. Lille, France 03 - 05 Jul 2019

Innovation paradoxes: a review and typology of explanations
Fragkandreas, T. 2017. Innovation paradoxes: a review and typology of explanations. Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation. 35 (4), pp. 267-290. https://doi.org/10.1080/08109028.2018.1506620

Innovation and Inequality: An Outline of an Alternative Perspective
Fragkandreas, T. 2016. Innovation and Inequality: An Outline of an Alternative Perspective. 19th Uddevalla Symposium. London, UK 30 Jun - 02 Jul 2016

Two Decades of Research on Innovation Paradoxes: A Review and Directions for Future Research
Fragkandreas, T. 2015. Two Decades of Research on Innovation Paradoxes: A Review and Directions for Future Research. 17th Annual Conference of the Association for Heterodox Economics. Southampton Solent University, Southampton, UK 02 - 04 Jul 2015

When Innovation Does Not Pay Off: Introducing the “European Regional Paradox”
Fragkandreas, Thanos 2013. When Innovation Does Not Pay Off: Introducing the “European Regional Paradox”. European Planning Studies. 21 (12), pp. 2078-2086. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2012.741566

When innovation does not pay-off: A tale of competitiveness in seven European regions
Fragkandreas, T. 2013. When innovation does not pay-off: A tale of competitiveness in seven European regions. 42nd Annual Conference and 3rd Annual Doctoral Colloquium. Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, UK 20 - 22 Aug 2013

Reflections on social capital and economic performance
Fragkandreas, T. 2012. Reflections on social capital and economic performance. International Review of Sociology / Revue Internationale de Sociologie. 22 (2), pp. 259-271. https://doi.org/10.1080/03906701.2012.696968

When Innovation does not Pay-off: An intriguing Observation from the European Regional Innovation Scoreboard
Fragkandreas, T. 2011. When Innovation does not Pay-off: An intriguing Observation from the European Regional Innovation Scoreboard. Annual Conference of the International Association of Critical Realism. Olso, Norway Sep 2011

Is Critical Realism a philosophy in search of a method?
Fragkandreas, T. 2011. Is Critical Realism a philosophy in search of a method? Annual Conference of the International Association of Critical Realism. Olso, Norway Sep 2011

''The Structure of Invention'': A Critical Analysis
Fragkandreas, T. 2011. ''The Structure of Invention'': A Critical Analysis. Discussion Group, Centre for Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck, University of London. London Nov 2011

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/vyyz4/knowledge-diffusion-in-management-kaizen-in-sub-saharan-africa


Share this

Usage statistics

16 total views
0 total downloads
These values cover views and downloads from WestminsterResearch and are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created.