ERIC Number: EJ1063263
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Toyota's A3 Thinking for Analyzing MBA Business Cases
Anderson, Joe S.; Morgan, James N.; Williams, Susan K.
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, v9 n2 p275-285 May 2011
A3 Thinking is fundamental to Toyota's benchmark management philosophy and to their lean production system. It is used to solve problems, gain agreement, mentor team members, and lead organizational improvements. A structured problem-solving approach, A3 Thinking builds improvement opportunities through experience. We used "The Toyota Way" to introduce these concepts and practices and we incorporated A3 Thinking into the case analysis dimension of our functionally integrated MBA class, Managing People and Processes. Results of A3 Thinking were communicated by the A3 report, using a single 11" by 17" sheet of paper. We surveyed students at the end of the semester, after they had created numerous A3 reports for case analysis. In addition to reinforcing A3 Thinking concepts, students and faculty found that A3 reporting added value to case analysis, class discussions, and presentations and pushed the focus of analysis into key issues and root causes often overlooked in a more intuitive approach. Emphasis on conciseness and graphics helped students improve communication and the format of the A3 reports helped instructors quickly review and evaluate the case analyses.
Descriptors: Business Administration Education, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Problem Solving, Program Improvement, Concept Teaching, Educational Practices, Student Surveys, Teaching Methods, Research Reports, Student Projects, Instructional Effectiveness, Masters Programs, Operations Research, Performance Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A