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Nova scientia

versión On-line ISSN 2007-0705


MAYNEZ-GUADERRAMA, Aurora Irma; CAVAZOS-ARROYO, Judith  y  VALLES MONGE, Leticia. Intrafirm knowledge transfer: analysis of precursor variables in a lean-kaizen environment. Nova scientia [online]. 2016, vol.8, n.17, pp.462-491. ISSN 2007-0705.


Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach that identifies and removes waste, through continuous improvement. A common activity in it, are kaizen events, which impact the technical and human subsystems of the organization, but unfortunately there are only a few jobs that inquire over its effect on the second subsystem. Thus, this work seeks to contribute with empirical evidence of variables associated with it, particularly the relations between organizational culture and the transfer of tacit knowledge within the company, through the mediation of the understanding need for kaizen, spirit at work and organizational commitment.


A quantitative, empirical and cross-sectional research was designed, based on the literary revision of the spirit at work, the understanding need for kaizen, affective commitment, organizational culture and the transfer of tacit knowledge within the company. The sample was non-probabilistic for convenience. 100 surveys were applied on a localized company on Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, which works in a lean environment and where there are kaizen events commonly. Structural Equational Modeling [SEM] based on partial least squares [PLS] was used as the statistical analysis technique, for its usefulness in estimating models that utilize latent variables.


It was found that organizational culture directly and indirectly influences the transfer of tacit knowledge within the company. Organizational culture helps towards the understanding of the need for kaizen [condition which supports the success of kaizen events], and it impacts positively on the employee's spirit at work. Moreover, affective commitment, receives positive and significant influence, both from spirit at work and the organizational culture, and influences over tacit knowledge transfer within the company.

Discussion or Conclusion:

Organizational culture creates a virtuous circle that influences on the understanding need for kaizen, spirit at work, organizational commitment, and the transfer of tacit knowledge within the company. The results make evident that a cultural environment that promotes learning not only affects the technical subsystem of the company, but the human subsystem as well. Then, kaizen cannot be disconnected from an organizational culture that has among its distinctive features, continuous improvement and learning.

Palabras llave : Kaizen; Transfer of tacit knowledge; Organizational Culture; Affective Commitment; Work Spirit.

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