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Continuous improvement: challenges for the project-based organization
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4885-0819
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 5, no 7, p. 1306-1320Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

There are limited studies of Continuous improvement from the perspective of a project-based organization (PBO). Hence, this article explores challenges that PBOs may encounter when applying Continuous improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory and qualitative approach has been used, involving six management teams in six different project-based organizations, using focus groups interviews as data collecting method.

Findings

A high degree of autonomy among project managers seems to limit a collective approach to project management in PBOs. As a consequence the overall PBO performance becomes subordinate to the individual project performance – an approach opposite to that of Continuous improvement. Further, the management teams themselves seem to uphold a project focus, also complicating improvement initiatives from a PBO perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The management teams have been the unit of analysis, where the PBOs mainly conduct projects in an engineering and construction context, and are located in the same country and region. This approach enables the thorough study of a phenomenon, while preconditions for generalization are limited. However, the findings could be used by researchers as a basis for more in-depth studies of specific challenges, and for making surveys to obtain generalization of results.

Practical implications

The results can induce awareness and understanding of different challenges if applying Continuous improvement in a PBO, hence a starting point for finding ways to overcome these challenges.

Originality/value

The article contributes to an increased understanding of challenges that PBOs may encounter when applying Continuous improvement, confirming and presenting additional findings compared to previous studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018. Vol. 5, no 7, p. 1306-1320
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Research subject
Quality Technology & Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69659DOI: 10.1108/IJQRM-12-2016-0229Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050088335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69659DiVA, id: diva2:1220640
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-07-26 (inah)

Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-19 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Backlund, FredrikSundqvist, Erik

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