Work system innovation: Designing improvement methods for generative capability

David Hansen, Niels Møller

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    This paper explores how a work system’s capability for improvement is influenced by its improvement methods. Based on explorative case study at a Lean manufacturing facility, the methods problem solving and Appreciative Inquiry were compared through in-depth qualitative studies over a 12-month period. The findings show how problem solving leads to solutions inside the existing improvement trajectory, whereas Appreciative Inquiry due to increased generative capability enables solutions outside the existing trajectory. The paper suggests how improvement methods can be designed for appropriate generative capability, which can be useful for practitioners who need to create systemic change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEurOMA 2013 : 20th International Annual EurOMA Conference
    Number of pages10
    Publication date2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Event20th European Operations Management Association Conference: Operations Management at the Heart of the Recovery - Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 7 Jun 201312 Jun 2013
    Conference number: 20


    Conference20th European Operations Management Association Conference
    Internet address


    • Continuous improvement
    • Lean
    • Appreciative inquiry


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