Identification of Barriers Towards Change and Proposal to Institutionalize Continuous Improvement Programs in Manufacturing Operations


  • Alvair Silveira Torres Jr. Economic and Business College in University of São Paulo
  • Ana Maria Gati Aspirant to Phd program in Economic and Business College at University of São Paulo



manufacturing, continuous improvement, change management


A multi case research unfolded into a study in a sample of Brazilian manufacturing companies concerning their Continuous Improvement (CI) program in manufacturing operations. Stakeholders interviews and performance analyses were conducted. The study aims to analyze the existence or absence of the institutionalization of a CI culture in manufacturing operations, identify barriers and difficulties within the process and propose a model for change. As a result of the research, it was observed that despite the considerable motivation of staff, rapid gains of the company and superior results during the early phases of the CI program, time and again such results were either not upheld or faded out over time, delivering no significant mid-term or long term results, due to poor management of changes. This happened mainly as a result of lack of strategic alignment at all levels of the organization, translated in measureable activities and projects, coached and mentored by the middle and upper management throughout the implementation and maintenance of the program. The selected cases showed a declining in performance after two years of CI program start up. Learning, union and process ownership among participants by means of interactions, are necessary to absorb and incorporate changes, instead of merely "smart words" .


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Author Biographies

Alvair Silveira Torres Jr., Economic and Business College in University of São Paulo

Assistant professor with researches in Operational and changing management. Author of articles in continous improvement was the winner of award to professor in businnes graduation.

Ana Maria Gati, Aspirant to Phd program in Economic and Business College at University of São Paulo

Aspirant to Phd program in Economic and Business College of University of São Paulo, she has got the master degree and she is a manager in AT Kearney Consulting.


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How to Cite

Torres Jr., A. S., & Gati, A. M. (2011). Identification of Barriers Towards Change and Proposal to Institutionalize Continuous Improvement Programs in Manufacturing Operations. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 6(2), 94–109.



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