Melhoria contínua em uma empresa manufatureira de médio porte: desenvolvimento de modelo e sistemática de implementação por meio de pesquisa-ação.
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The purpose of this proposal was to implement the Continuous Improvement in a medium size manufacturing company, involving from the development up to the implementation stages. A review was conducted on production continuous improvement within different contexts as studied by various authors, including the classics in quality management. Amongst the issues approached to, were presented the aspects of continuous improvement, improvement types, enabling approaches of production continuous improvement, continuous improvement management models, structural aspects of production continuous improvement, skills for continuous improvement and continuous improvement tools. Based on the theoretical research it was possible to develop a reference Model for the Continuous Improvement, as well as establish a systematic for its application. The proposed Model was applied in a medium size manufacturing company, though out Thiollent´s action research twelve phases and according to the systematic steps. At the end of the research the application feasibility of the proposed Model was demonstrated nevertheless, successful results depend entirely on the company administrators´ commitment and eagerness to define the actions plan consistent with the lacoons identified. Lack of leadership to make actions happen was also deemed as a short-coming to overcome.