This paper explores how a work system’s capability for improvement is influenced by its improvement methods. Based on explorative case study at a Lean manufacturing facility, the methods problem solving and Appreciative Inquiry were compared through in-depth qualitative studies over a 12-month period. The findings show how problem solving leads to solutions inside the existing improvement trajectory, whereas Appreciative Inquiry due to increased generative capability enables solutions outside the existing trajectory. The paper suggests how improvement methods can be designed for appropriate generative capability, which can be useful for practitioners who need to create systemic change.
Euroma 2013 : 20th International Annual Euroma Conference, 2013