Enabling continuous improvement: a case study of implementation

Bertus de Jager, Chris Minnie, Johan de Jager, Marita Welgemoed, John Bessant, David Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Widespread recognition of the strategic imperative posed by a turbulent external environment has brought into focus a key challenge for firms – that of increasing involvement in innovation by the staff in the organisation. Much research has suggested that organisations that mobilise a large proportion of their staff to participate in innovation can make significant gains. Achieving this depends on a systematic process of organisational development in which the facilitative patterns of behavioural routines are extended and reinforced, so that they become a major culture change. This paper reports on progress with this organisational development methodology using a detailed case study of its use within a major mining company in South Africa. It makes use of a reference model framework to help structure and direct the change process towards enabling higher involvement in innovation. In particular it explores practical issues involved in moving a large organisation along a path of high involvement innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Africa
  • Continuous improvement
  • Innovation
  • Organizational development


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