An approach to Total Quality Management (TQM) originating in Japan. It is the Japanese word for “improvement” and can be described as continuously improving by making small improvements, mainly in process type improvements. If effectively practiced, it eliminates waste and generates dramatic improvement and cost savings. During the TQM revolution, many organizations practiced Kaizen in their manufacturing operations. (Business, 2002)
A Japanese production management technique that uses cards attached to components to monitor and control workflow in a factory. It was first developed by the car manufacturer Toyota. Its theory became part of the total quality management movement. (Business, 2002)
A Japanese loose conglomerate company that promotes interdependencies between firms with interlocking interests in each other and is characterized by close internal control, policy coordination, and cohesiveness. Keiretsu business groups are alliances between firms that share close buyer-supplier relationships. (Business, 2002)
The payment of something of value to an individual with the goal of persuading or influencing his or her decision or performance in a certain situation. May be in the form of cash or favors and is usually unethical.
Knocked Down (KD)
A requirement that goods be shipped disassembled to reduce space required for transportation and storage or to achieve economies by having the product or goods assembled on-site. (ISM, 2000)