Improvement Methods for the Operational Organisation of Small and Medium Enterprises

The majority of the research that have been done in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) tend to describe how some improvement methodologies as Lean Manufacturing, Just in Time, Theory of Constraints, Continuous Improvement, among others are implemented. Few research studies have been conducted about the development of improvement methods for SMEs. Furthermore, Individuals’ attitudes and behaviors in response to an operational management change have traditionally been ignored. Because human responses are decisive for the success or failure of any operational management change, this study proposes an integrated framework that includes behavioral responses to the implementation of an operational improvement method and their impact on operational performance. This research presents (a) a new improvement method for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a strong emphasis in the integration between sales and production, called “HENKA” (a Japanese word that means change), (b) a research framework that integrates behavioral responses, such as job satisfaction, job control, job demands and core self-evaluations and (c) a business simulation to test the hypotheses. The results show significant improvement in operational performance after the implementation of HENKA in the experimental group. In addition, there are significant positive changes in job satisfaction, job control and job demands but no significant change in core self-evaluations. Although the four behavioral responses are statistically significant correlated, only core self-evaluations and job control are significant predictors of job satisfaction; neither job demands nor the interaction between job demands and job control is a significant predictor of job satisfaction. Finally, there is a significant relationship between job satisfaction and operational performance.

Denise Rodriguez
  • Hendrik Van Landeghem Dirk Buyens Virginia Lasio
Feb. 6, 2013, 12:07 p.m.
Research group