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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Robert Patrick Biggins
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: The Effects of Toyota Production System Training Discontinuation
Dr. Van Cooley, Chair
Dr. Dennis McCrumb
Dr. William Pearch
Date: Monday, May 18, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
The purpose of the study is to determine what impact the discontinuation of the Toyota Production System (TPS) training model may have on the Saint Joseph, Michigan, Robert Bosch Automotive Braking plant, its employees, and determine what other continuous improvement programs may be dissolved. The focus of this investigation is on professional development, specifically the impact of Toyota Production System training elimination and other continuous improvement training discontinuation along with initiative embracement as it relates to employees. This research consists of 12 employee interviews and utilizes qualitative inquiry methodology focusing on the grounded theory approach. All employees were chosen from salaried positions and represent a cross section of the departments where Toyota Production System utilization is evident. The coding process yields the surfacing of official and emerging themes. Official themes constitute 67% participant collaboration and emerging theme is established when at least 50% or six of twelve participants answer questions with comparable information. Six official themes have been extrapolated. The official themes include: (1a) participant agrees that the TPS process implementation improves several areas of the facility; (1b) improvement remarks are central to the participants’ area of responsibility; (2a) TPS training discontinuation could allow people to go back to their old way of doing things; (2b) reduced employee involvement and moral could be the common thread of TPS training elimination; (3a) of the alternate continuous improvement initiatives underway, cost avoidance is the key factor; and (3b) few participants conclude that there would be any additional continuous improvement training programs that would be in jeopardy of being eliminated.