Promoting sustainable traction towards an environment of continuous improvement

  • Christopher David Milner

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This research expands existing knowledge by building an in-depth understanding of how service-based organisations can promote sustainable traction towards an environment of continuous improvement. Through the review of literature and empirical exploration, the study identifies and critically reviews the key components in the development of a system of continuous improvement (CI) and reviews the extent to which an ambition to promote and harness creativity is a necessary quality in developing an environment of CI. The research offers how the encouragement and nurturing of collaborative creative practice should become a feature for all organisations, proposing the facilitation and actualisation of a creative wave to promote collaborative value generation. The research recommends that CI, nor creative processes will yield actionable improvements or sustainability without synergy. It is therefore vital the processes by which a CI system is developed, are coordinated, controlled and positioned coherently to ensure organisational viability and coherence. The research evidences the importance of recognising and taking account of value generated from within the CI system as essential for organisational legitimacy.

    This research answers the call for a framework to better guide organisations in their journey towards establishing an environment of CI and reaching higher levels of CI maturity. The research presents the contribution of the Continuous Improvement Traction Framework, supporting the holistic pursuit of operational and behavioural excellence, designed to guide initial and sustainable traction towards a dynamic and creative environment of CI. The Continuous Improvement Traction Framework moves away from the existing, and relatively linear patterns of development to an interactive combination of Lemniscates. The framework moves beyond the prescription of key CI considerations, to a structure that better guides service-based organisations to initiate, develop and sustain traction towards an environment of CI. The Framework deploys a level of coordination, execution, and support, through the Actualisation and Realisation Lemniscates, which are positioned within the System component, constructed to integrate CI into the organisation’s cultural mind-set.
    Date of AwardDec 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorDeborah Margaret Reed (Supervisor), Mark Xu (Supervisor) & Barbara Maria Savage (Supervisor)

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