Advanced

In search of “Muda” through the TKJ diagram

Suárez-Barraza, Manuel F.; Dahlgaard-Park, Su Mi LU ; Rodríguez-González, Francisco G. and Durán-Arechiga, Carolina (2016) In International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences 8(3). p.377-394
Abstract

Purpose: Muda is a Japanese term literally meaning futility, uselessness, idleness, superfluity, waste, wastage or wastefulness. The term was introduced by the Japanese engineer Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1960s. Therefore, reducing and minimizing Muda is an effective way to increase the operational efficiency and productivity of an organization’s processes. In turn, the technique known as the affinity or TKJ diagram represents a practical way of sorting data or ideas into groups classified by common patterns; it can be regarded as one of the new seven tools of quality. The purpose of this paper is to discover Muda by applying the affinity or TKJ diagram in Mexican organizations. Design/methodology/approach: An... (More)

Purpose: Muda is a Japanese term literally meaning futility, uselessness, idleness, superfluity, waste, wastage or wastefulness. The term was introduced by the Japanese engineer Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1960s. Therefore, reducing and minimizing Muda is an effective way to increase the operational efficiency and productivity of an organization’s processes. In turn, the technique known as the affinity or TKJ diagram represents a practical way of sorting data or ideas into groups classified by common patterns; it can be regarded as one of the new seven tools of quality. The purpose of this paper is to discover Muda by applying the affinity or TKJ diagram in Mexican organizations. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted. Using theoretical sampling, the authors identified and analyzed data from a kaizen training course. Each course workshop was organized by the Universidad de las Americas Puebla and consulting firm “Mi Empresa”, and given to employees of various organizations in various sectors over three years from January 2012 to January 2015. Findings: The research provided the first evidence of Muda in Mexican organizations. The Muda of Ohno’s classification was confirmed, but new common patterns of Muda in twenty-first-century organizations also arose. Furthermore, the TKJ diagram proved to be an effective tool of quality to detect it. Research limitations/implications: This paper has the same limitations as all other qualitative research, including analysis subjectivity and questionable generalization of findings. It is also important to highlight the seven KJ diagrams, a seemingly abundant figure. However, it is a small sample for the number of companies and processes to be found in Mexico. Practical implications: This paper may prove to be valuable for practitioners and managers involved in the operations and continuous improvement fields. Getting to know Muda in organizations is of great importance for continuously improving organizational processes. This classification will allow greater insight and easier detection. Originality/value: The study contributes to the limited existing literature on total quality management, lean thinking and kaizen, and subsequently disseminates this information to provide impetus, guidance and support toward improving the quality of organizational processes.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Kaizen, Muda, Qualitative study, TKJ
in
International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences
volume
8
issue
3
pages
18 pages
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:84988428091
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/IJQSS-04-2016-0028
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c9933101-117a-47c6-8892-878b92734f66
date added to LUP
2017-02-23 16:03:56
date last changed
2017-08-22 15:52:13
@article{c9933101-117a-47c6-8892-878b92734f66,
  abstract     = {<p>Purpose: Muda is a Japanese term literally meaning futility, uselessness, idleness, superfluity, waste, wastage or wastefulness. The term was introduced by the Japanese engineer Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1960s. Therefore, reducing and minimizing Muda is an effective way to increase the operational efficiency and productivity of an organization’s processes. In turn, the technique known as the affinity or TKJ diagram represents a practical way of sorting data or ideas into groups classified by common patterns; it can be regarded as one of the new seven tools of quality. The purpose of this paper is to discover Muda by applying the affinity or TKJ diagram in Mexican organizations. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted. Using theoretical sampling, the authors identified and analyzed data from a kaizen training course. Each course workshop was organized by the Universidad de las Americas Puebla and consulting firm “Mi Empresa”, and given to employees of various organizations in various sectors over three years from January 2012 to January 2015. Findings: The research provided the first evidence of Muda in Mexican organizations. The Muda of Ohno’s classification was confirmed, but new common patterns of Muda in twenty-first-century organizations also arose. Furthermore, the TKJ diagram proved to be an effective tool of quality to detect it. Research limitations/implications: This paper has the same limitations as all other qualitative research, including analysis subjectivity and questionable generalization of findings. It is also important to highlight the seven KJ diagrams, a seemingly abundant figure. However, it is a small sample for the number of companies and processes to be found in Mexico. Practical implications: This paper may prove to be valuable for practitioners and managers involved in the operations and continuous improvement fields. Getting to know Muda in organizations is of great importance for continuously improving organizational processes. This classification will allow greater insight and easier detection. Originality/value: The study contributes to the limited existing literature on total quality management, lean thinking and kaizen, and subsequently disseminates this information to provide impetus, guidance and support toward improving the quality of organizational processes.</p>},
  author       = {Suárez-Barraza, Manuel F. and Dahlgaard-Park, Su Mi and Rodríguez-González, Francisco G. and Durán-Arechiga, Carolina},
  issn         = {1756-669X},
  keyword      = {Kaizen,Muda,Qualitative study,TKJ},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {377--394},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences},
  title        = {In search of “Muda” through the TKJ diagram},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-04-2016-0028},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2016},
}