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Anne Claire Olang’ - Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management), Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Linda Kimencu - Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Globally, firms are well known for their dependence on employees to achieve their objectives. Kenyan companies are vital due to their substantial impact to the economic development of the country thus gradually gaining attention in improving quality management for competitive advantage and superior employee performance. The study sought to investigate kaizen principles and their influence on employee performance in Davis & Shirtliff Limited in Nairobi, Kenya. This paper sets out to establish whether kaizen practices like quality circles, sigma six DMAIC, just in time practices and lean manufacturing can contribute to the enhancement of employee performance in Davis & Shirtliff Ltd by increasing efficiency, effectiveness skills/knowledge achievement and productivity. The study adopted descriptive research design where respondents described their experiences on the kaizen principles to improve employee performance in Davis & Shirtliff Ltd. The target population was 288 employees in Davis & Shirtliff Ltd. Stratified proportionate sampling method was applied to select each strata sample from sample size of 165 employees as participants from the manufacturing industry. The study adopted self-administered questionnaires as the main data collection instrument. A pilot study was undertaken to pre-test the questionnaire for its validity and reliability. Data findings were based upon the variables and reasons for conducting the research. Data analysis was done after quantitative approach with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23. Descriptive statistics (in form of percentages, means and measures of dispersion) and inferential analysis was employed in the data analysis. Analysis using multiple regression was applied to show the strength of the association between the dependent and independent variables. The findings were presented in frequency tables and charts with explanations right after. There was 78.8% response rate. ANOVA demonstrates that the independent variables statistically significantly predict the dependent variable. Quality circles, sigma six DMAIC and lean manufacturing are the kaizen principles which are statistically significant in employee performance from the multiple regression analysis as compared to Just in time principle. Just in time lower influence could be attributed to low levels of awareness and responsiveness within the firm. The study revealed that quality circles improve delivery of objectives by employees and also lead to compliance towards the firm objectives.  It was also established that sigma six DMAIC influences completion of activities by employees at minimized costs and also leads to faster flow of operations. Further opting for lean manufacturing minimizes wastages by employees and also that it provides simple comprehensive steps for employees on waste reduction. The study thus recommended that the management of Davis & Shirtliff Ltd should adopt and implement quality circles in their company. The quality circles should be checked on a regular interval to ensure that they work best for the company. The management should set policies and guideline to be observed to ensure that Sigma Six DMAIC is adhered to in the company.  Also the study recommends that the personnel responsible with checking on just in time practices to be reliable and of high integrity to ensure that it is it is done in accordance to the listed procedure. The company should conduct more training on soft skills and adoption of kaizen principles within the whole organization on a regular basis based on a criterion to be developed by the company.  Further the study recommends that the management of the companies should focus on employees’ strength when offering tasks to ensure that the appropriate and best candidates are offered tasks that they are more competent and fit in.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)