Margareth A Mapunda


Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning a continuous improvement which involves both managers and workers in the workplace using relatively little expenses. The method originated from the United States of America and was imported and modified in Japan after the Second World War to resolve the challenge of scarce resources. Several businesses which adopted Kaizen confirmed its impact in waste reduction and productivity improvement. However, Kaizen adoption rate has been very low in the African countries. Thus, this study synthesizes determinants of Kaizen adoption by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in African countries. It specifically, assesses Kaizen related components and examines the determinants of Kaizen adoption by SMEs in African countries. A comprehensive review of twelve related empirical literature of African countries practicing Kaizen was assessed. The data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel and those with scores of 50% or above were considered to be significant.  The study found that Total Quality Management (59%), 5S Kaizen (25%), Lean Manufacturing (8%) and Quality Circles (8%) are Kaizen related components adopted by SMEs in twelve African countries. The study also found that, Top Management Commitment and Support (75%) (Attitude and facilitating conditions), Training and Education (67%) (Facilitating conditions), Teamwork, Employees Participation and Empowerment (50%) (self-efficacy) are critical determinants of Kaizen adoption by SMEs in African countries. The study implies that, African countries which practice Kaizen should focus on the Top Management Commitment and Support; Training and Education; Teamwork, Employees participation and Empowerment; as the key significant determinants of Kaizen to accelerate its implementation so as to enhance the SMEs’ productivity and performance


KAIZEN, Lean Manufacturing, TQM, Adoption, 5S, SMEs, TPB Model, Africa

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