Hoshin Kanri : an exploratory study at Nissan Yamato Engineering Ltd
To date there has been no identified academic research of Hoshin Kanri in the West and the purpose of this thesis is to clarify the Hoshin Kanri process within the context of Western practice highlighting issues and identifying potential areas for future research. A review of the literature suggests that Hoshin Kanri links an organisation's strategy with its operations on a day to day basis, the thesis therefore discusses Hoshin Kanri within the theory of strategic management contributing to knowledge and understanding not only of Hoshin Kanri but of strategic management. The methodology adopted was an in depth single case study design utilising a tracer approach thus extending knowledge of a research method upon which other researchers can draw. The case study of Nissan Yamato Engineering Ltd. explores the Hoshin Kanri process within a Japanese owned company operating within a Western context held to be an exemplar of practice. A conceptual model of Hoshin Kanri is proposed, and the research suggests that emphasis in the West upon issues of culture and empowerment has obscured the need for organisational arrangements which integrate strategic concerns with day to day management at an operational level.