Knowledge-based assessment applied in Brazilian Toyota plants: employees’ perceptions

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Sao Paolo, Brasil (2018)


Knowledge management, Knowledge Management Assessment, Knowledge Management Evaluation, Knowledge Management Performance, Operations Management, Production Management


Purpose - This study aims to propose an assessment tool for Work, Production and Knowledge to support knowledge sharing among blue-collar workers and performance on the shop floor in Brazilian Toyota plants.
Design/methodology/approach - The methodology applied a comprehensive literature about operations management and knowledge sharing in web of science, which resulted in 20 papers selected from the period of 2001 to 2017. The research fieldwork was based on Action-Research (AR) in Brazilian Toyota plants and the data collecting procedure used a 4-point Likert scale questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to a sample of 55 employees selected from the Toyota 1 (T1) and 22 employees from Toyota 2 (T2).
Research Questions – The study aims to answer the following research questions: What are the factors for a production system to align People, Processes, and Knowledge? How to assess such factors? What is the importance of these factors in the opinion of production managers and workers?
Findings - The results evidence the importance of people factors. They also considered a relation among knowledge and lean techniques and judged that the Brazilian Toyota plants are aligned with this. The evidences indicate that the Brazilian culture does not influence changes in the Toyota work context and the results also provide an overview of the Toyota DNA implemented in Brazil, which supports the improvement actions.
Research limitations/implications - This study was limited to shop floor context and blue-collar workers perception of two Brazilian Toyota plants. The proposed approach is also able to be applied in other departments or organizations, even considering different cultures, worker groups or production sectors.
Practical implications - The findings and assessment instrument support evidence to create a favourable context to promote knowledge sharing through the shop floor context.
Originality/value - This paper contributes understanding the Toyota DNA presence in a different culture and increase the understanding to support managers’ actions on practical implications and KM implementation process. The findings also identify a pattern of Brazilian Toyota companies, which can establish a base of comparison for further researches.
This research is aligned with research opportunities raised in the literature review and develops an integrated approach based on human production, which justify this work as follows:
• Pragmatic orientations on ways to identify how the manager can develop favorable contexts to encourage processes of knowledge conversion in the organization (Nonaka, von Krogh and Voelpel, 2006);
• Identification of factors that influence tacit knowledge in groups of organizations (Erden, von Krogh and Nonaka, 2008);
• Interaction between social practices and the creation of organizational knowledge (Nonaka and von Krogh, 2009).

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