If to look up the words kai and zen in a Japanese-English vocabulary, it will become obvious that this is a philosophy of bringing changes for better. The improvements with application of this philosophy can be achieved in any sphere, from everyday use when you want to become healthier and happier to global businesses. Kaizen is used to change all the functions within a company. It was firstly applied by Japanese businesses, but now it is available to managers throughout the world. The five main elements of this philosophy are team work, personal discipline, improved morale, quality circles and suggestions for improvement.
For example, the key elements of kaizen have been successfully applied in Connecticut service businesses (Emiliani 37). In distribution service this is Kaman industrial technology; in financial services it was applied by Phoenix wealth management; in healthcare kaizen has been applied by St Francis hospital. M. L. Emiliani demonstrates that this philosophy has no limits and should be applied in education too.
“Empowerment is depicted by its proponents as the common denominator for recent managerial techniques and activities that acknowledge the individual employee as an intelligent, accountable, creative being, and therefore a productive resource for the company,”¯ Alexander Styhre (795) states. What is more, environmental performance can also be improved by kaizen application. Clinical Cancer Center in Wisconsin has tested it and the tests have proved that appluing kaizen philosophy has made all the processes more efficient. As Soltero and Gregory (26) suppose, “kaizen may provide a vehicle for engaging broad-based organizational participation in continual improvement activities that target, in part, physical wastes and environmental impacts”¯. Even costs are reduced when it is applied rationally. Therefore it seems progressive to pay more attention to this innovation.