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America's Most Successful Export to Japan: Continuous Improvement Programs

Japanese success with some management practices may depend on cultural factors that are not present in the West. But that is not true as far as continuous improvement programs are concerned; CIPs were developed in the United States long before they were introduced into Japan by U.S. trainers working for the post-WWII occupation authorities. Schroeder and Robinson synthesize the fascinating history of improvement programs, from the early "awards scheme" of a Scottish shipbuilder to the present day. They propose four fundamental principles that can help managers build the competitive advantage no one can steal -- a constantly improving, highly productive, committed workforce.

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