Towards continuous improvement in the service industry. An explorative research into the criticality of success factors to develop CI in the service industry.

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Due to the characteristics of services, continuous improvement is different and more subjective than in a manufacturing context, in which continuous improvement is widely applied. The purpose of this paper therefore is to explore the criticality of success factors for continuous improvement in the service industry, to enable the development of lean management and increase operational performance. Thereupon, semi-structured interviews were conducted and it was found that the critical success factors of continuous improvement in the manufacturing industry are also applicable in the service industry. However, some of them are more critical in a service context and work differently. Besides, it was found that in order to develop continuous improvement charged behaviour should be enabled. Moreover, human resources is added as a critical success factor for continuous improvement in the service industry. Finally, it was concluded that the sub-sectors of the service industry have different characteristics and therefore attention should be paid to what critical success factors work specifically in that sub-sector in order to successfully develop continuous improvement in an organization. The findings of this paper provide new insights on how to develop continuous improvement in the service industry specifically.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen