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Using kaizen to improve employee well-being: Results from two organizational intervention studies
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. (Hållbart Arbetsliv)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4771-8349
Sheffield University, UK.
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Human Relations, ISSN 0018-7267, E-ISSN 1741-282X, Vol. 70, no 8, p. 966-993Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Participatory intervention approaches that are embedded in existing organizational structures may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational interventions, but concrete tools are lacking. In the present article, we use a realist evaluation approach to explore the role of kaizen, a lean tool for participatory continuous improvement, in improving employee well-being in two cluster-randomized, controlled participatory intervention studies. Case 1 is from the Danish Postal Service, where kaizen boards were used to implement action plans. The results of multi-group structural equation modeling showed that kaizen served as a mechanism that increased the level of awareness of and capacity to manage psychosocial issues, which, in turn, predicted increased job satisfaction and mental health. Case 2 is from a regional hospital in Sweden that integrated occupational health processes with a pre-existing kaizen system. Multi-group structural equation modeling revealed that, in the intervention group, kaizen work predicted better integration of organizational and employee objectives after 12 months, which, in turn, predicted increased job satisfaction and decreased discomfort at 24 months. The findings suggest that participatory and structured problem-solving approaches that are familiar and visual to employees can facilitate organizational interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 70, no 8, p. 966-993
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-38514DOI: 10.1177/0018726716677071ISI: 000405021100003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85021969530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-38514DiVA, id: diva2:1180649
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-03-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf