Special Issue "High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Juan A. Marin-Garcia
Website
Guest Editor
Departmento de Organización de Empresass (Department of Management), Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Interests: management; continuous improvement; lean manufacturing systems; TQM; TPM; performance evaluation and active learning in higher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue addresses the sustainability of high-performance work practices or kaizen, from the point of view of their long-term effects on organizations, the environment and workers’ well-being. In this way, we hope to present a set of contributions that will enable development (people, planet, and profit) to be addressed from different perspectives.

Previous research links high-performance work practices (HPWP) with reduced waste in transport or movements by improving internal or supply chain logistics (Alfalla-Luque et al., 2015; Luu, 2019). Yet it is not so clear how HIWP reduces waste in delivery times, process times, material, energy, or other resources, which would make organizations more ecologically efficient (Gollan et al., 2014; Way, 2002). However, HPWP has been proposed as a key element to encourage employees to enhance environmental performance (Govindarajulu and Daily, 2004; Renwick et al., 2013; Tariq et al., 2016).

This Special Issue is also focused on kaizen, a word that we will take as a synonym of continuous innovation or improvement (Sanchez-Ruiz et al., 2018). There is a clear relation between kaizen and environmental management or the implementation of cleaner production or green practices (Ciravegna Martins da Fonseca, 2015; Daily and Huang, 2001; Jabbour et al., 2008; Vieira and Amaral, 2016) in internal management (Fresner, 1998; Fagnani and Guimaraes, 2017; Singh et al., 2017) and with supply chain management (Dania et al., 2018) of both public and private industrial companies or service companies.

At the same time, HPWP are related to kaizen and worker participation, although the conditions under which this interaction produces positive effects or can be considered sustainable are unclear (Caniëls & Veld, 2019; Chang et al., 2018; Han et al., 2019; Siddique et al., 2019; Zhou et al., 2019) by considering its long-term contribution in workers’ well-being (Miao & Cao, 2019; Wang et al., 2019), job engagement (Karadas & Karatepe, 2019), or organizational commitment (Andersén & Andersén, 2019).

In short, we are interested in analyzing the relationship between workplace interventions and organizational well-being, employee well-being, or environmental "well-being"; the sustainability of process improvements and waste reduction; or the application of all the above in specific contexts by, for example, taking into account an organization’s size or economic activity.

Finally, we would also be interested in knowing how demographic changes (baby boomers vs. z generation vs. millennials), technological changes (big data, digitization, industry 4.0), economic changes (job precariousness), or how the emerging values of the last decade (inclusion, innovation, critical reflection) affect the relation linking HPWS, kaizen, and sustainability.

Contributions related, but not limited to, the aforementioned topics will be included in this Special Issue.

Dr. Juan A. Marin-Garcia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • high performance
  • continuous process improvement
  • waste reduction
  • Sustainability
  • long-term effects
  • organizational well-being
  • employee well-being
  • environmental “well-being”

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Responsible Job Design Based on the Internal Social Responsibility of Local Governments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113994 - 04 Jun 2020
Abstract
Sustainability needs the socially responsible orientation of public institutions, but not only externally. How civil servants and municipal employees consider what local governments do in relation to their internal social responsibility is the main question of this study. Through structural equation modelling and [...] Read more.
Sustainability needs the socially responsible orientation of public institutions, but not only externally. How civil servants and municipal employees consider what local governments do in relation to their internal social responsibility is the main question of this study. Through structural equation modelling and a sample of 294 employees in local governments in a Spanish region (Extremadura), it is demonstrated that responsible job position design, as well as good communication and team building, both have positive and significant effects on the personal identification of employees with the city council. That has been interpreted as the essence of internal social responsibility and the first step for building external social responsibility at the municipal level. Practical implications and future directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?)
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Open AccessArticle
Kaizen–Kata, a Problem-Solving Approach to Public Service Health Care in Mexico. A Multiple-Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3297; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093297 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
Purpose: Mexico’s public hospitals are experiencing major operational problems which seriously affect the care of Mexican citizens. Some hospitals have initiated efforts to apply the Kaizen philosophy to improve this situation. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to analyze the methodological impact [...] Read more.
Purpose: Mexico’s public hospitals are experiencing major operational problems which seriously affect the care of Mexican citizens. Some hospitals have initiated efforts to apply the Kaizen philosophy to improve this situation. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to analyze the methodological impact of Kaizen–Kata implementation in Mexican public hospitals that have tried to solve operational problems using this improvement approach. Design/Methodology/Approach: The service organization implemented Kaizen–Kata methodology in order to improve one operational problem-process in health care. A case-study approach was used in this research in order to understand the effects of the Kaizen–Kata methodology in solving problems in their operational procedures. Findings: Six specific drivers were identified when applying the Kaizen–Kata methodology. Furthermore, the impact on the levels of implementation of the Kaizen–Kata methodology in each of the improvement teams studied was also identified. Research Limitations: The main limitation of the research is that only three case-studies are presented thus it is not possible to generalize its results. Practical Implications (Where Possible): Other public hospitals can use this specific example as a working guide to solve the operational problems of health systems. Originality/Value: A methodology of continuous improvement in manufacturing was imported from the industry sector for application in an operational health care process. The Kaizen–Kata methodology contributed significantly to improving issues involving delays, customer complaints, process reworks and extra-cost, among other effects of operational problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?)
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Open AccessArticle
Ambidextrous Relationships and Social Capability as Employee Well-Being: The Secret Sauce for Research and Development and Sustainable Innovation Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093072 - 28 Apr 2020
Abstract
This study examines the effects that ambidextrous relationships, i.e., oriented relationships within a firm towards the development of exploitation activities and oriented relationships towards the development of exploration activities, have on employee performance in terms of creativity, research and development (R&D), and sustainable [...] Read more.
This study examines the effects that ambidextrous relationships, i.e., oriented relationships within a firm towards the development of exploitation activities and oriented relationships towards the development of exploration activities, have on employee performance in terms of creativity, research and development (R&D), and sustainable innovation performance. We contend that informal relationships affect employee creativity and R&D. However, formal relationships affect employee creativity and sustainable innovation performance. The purpose of this study is to inject new positive relationships into firms by examining ambidextrous relationships and the moderating role of social capability in the relationships–innovation effect. We empirically tested our hypotheses by using multisource data collected from 245 Spanish firms across 14 industries. Our structural equation models suggest that these two types of relationship predict employee creativity, which in turn increases sustainable innovation performance and R&D. The results reveal that the effects between informal relationships and creativity are stronger, as are the effects between formal relationships and sustainable innovation performance. A multigroup structural analysis also reveals that effects between informal and formal relationships, employee creativity, R&D, and sustainable innovation performance are stronger within firms that have employees with high social capability. The efforts and investments made in employee social capital support the development of new ideas, R&D, and innovation success. Support is provided for an ambidextrous Human Resource Management (HRM) approach which is relevant for innovation, and several practical recommendations and implementation guidelines for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are provided. This study provides a plausible explanation of two important management mechanisms for enhancing creativity—R&D and sustainable innovation performance. Relationships are malleable, and this study suggests that fostering formal and informal relationships might hold the key to sustainable innovation performance and unlocking desirable employee behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?)
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Open AccessArticle
Investing Time and Resources for Work–Life Balance: The Effect on Talent Retention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061920 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The study of work–life balance has undergone significant development in recent years as a result of changes in society and the growing importance of human resources (HR) for companies. Taking into account that human capital represents a critical success factor for businesses, the [...] Read more.
The study of work–life balance has undergone significant development in recent years as a result of changes in society and the growing importance of human resources (HR) for companies. Taking into account that human capital represents a critical success factor for businesses, the current context requires the development and implementation of HR management strategies aimed at attracting and retaining the most talented workers in order to obtain the expected results. The objective of this paper is to present an integrated model of work–life balance strategies, including the impacts of the different policies and practices on the retention of talented HR, which can be a basis for further academic developments on this subject, as well as a roadmap for managers. Hence, we will analyze a case study carried out in a multinational company—a leader in the technology and tourism sectors, and importantly dependent on valuable human capital, for which the HR strategy aims to improve the performance of the firm in the medium and long term through analysis, planning, and flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Value Stream Mapping role in the sustanainility of continuous improvement: a systematic literature review in health services
Authors: Marin-Garcia, Juan A.; Vidal-Carreras, Pilar I.; Garcia-Sabater, Julio J.
Affiliation: Departmento de Organización de Empresass (Department of Management), Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain

Title: Science mapping of kaizen and cleaner production or green practices
Authors: Sanchez-Ruiz, Lidia; Blanco, Beatriz; Gómea-López, Raquel; Diez-Busto, Elsa; Marin-Garcia, Juan A.
Affiliation: Departmento de Organización de Empresass (Department of Management), Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain

Title: KAIZEN-KATA a problem solving approach to Public Service Health Care in Mexico. A multiple Case Study
Authors: Suárez-Barraza, Manuel F., Miguel-Dávila, José A., and Huerta-Carvajal, M. Isabel
Affiliation: Department of International Business Management, Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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