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I have comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience gained from tertiary-level instruction, practice-based research, and employment in major Japanese industrial corporations in Japan over the past 25 years. Born and raised in Palmerston North, I have recently returned home, and to Massey. I conduct research into sustainable business excellence for diffusion of knowledge and practice into New Zealand industry and the economy. My major objectives include providing practical management-education; developing beneficial collaborative ties between academia and the local business; and, continuing research into sustainable business excellence.
The origin of ‘lean’ sits with kaizen in Japan, a long established, deeply held and culturally rooted commitment to continuous improvement in the workplace. My research began with the examination of kaizen in domain name companies in Japan. In particular the transfer of kaizen, complete with all its antecedent variables, from one generation to another was explored through doctoral research. That research recognised that the visible tools and techniques of either kaizen (in Japan) or lean (in New Zealand and elsewhere across the Anglosphere) present only a superficial understanding of the phenomena itself. In Japan kaizen was found to be underpinned by a complete array of cultural, spiritual and philosophical beliefs, understandings and commitments. Despite numerous research contributions to the fields of business excellence, continuous improvement, and process engineering such parallels across the Anglosphere are yet to be observed. One example of this very dichotomy is provided by the translation into English of Ohno’s “The Toyota Production System”. The original (in Japanese) was found to bear little resemblance to the subsequent publication consumed by English speaking industrialists. Yet those same industrialists have adopted the Toyota Way with little hesitation.
Ongoing research is designed to understand the relationship between the visible tools and techniques and the underpinning organisational culture in both Japan and the Anglosphere, in particular New Zealand. Outputs from my research are expected to better inform management of the actual attributes of kaizen, and recognise that the gains from the implementation of lean are likely to be short-lived. Therefore, extending the impact of lean on business performance, in a strategic sense, remains a critical objective of this research.
Resource Development and Management
Field of research codes
Business and Management (150300): Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services (150000): International Business (150308): Organisational Planning and Management (150312): Quality Management (150313)
Japan, kaizen, quality management, strategy, sustainability
Previously, I held the position of Assistant Professor at a Japanese university, as well as adjunct lecturer instructing in international management, business, cross-cultural studies, and international affairs. Currently, I teach 152.702 Advanced Strategic Management in the School of Management.