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Using Toyota's A3 thinking for analyzing MBA business cases: Working paper series--10-02

Anderson, Joe S. and Morgan, James N. and Williams, Susan K. (2010) Using Toyota's A3 thinking for analyzing MBA business cases: Working paper series--10-02. Working Paper. NAU W.A. Franke College of Business.


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In order to actualize some of the concepts that students read and discussed from The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker, we incorporated A3 Thinking and A3 Reports into the case analysis dimension of our MBA core, team-taught class, Managing People and Processes. The class developed an A3 report format that is a variation of that given in Sobek and Smalley (2009). In addition to actualizing these concepts, several other advantages were experienced. Both students and faculty have found that A3 thinking added value to case analysis, class discussion, and student presentations because it pushed student thinking and the focus of analysis into key issues and root causes which might be overlooked in a more intuitive problem-solving approach. In addition, the A3 process added transparency to the students' analysis and discouraged them from obfuscating to cover a lack of or weakness in cogent thinking. Further, A3 thinking provided a mechanism to help student groups structure their collaboration. Finally, emphasis on the conciseness and graphics comprising leaner communication helped students improve the "stickiness" (Heath & Heath, 2007) of their communications.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright, where appropriate, is held by the author.
ID number or DOI: 10-02
Keywords: Working paper, Toyota, A3 Thinking, communication stickiness, business education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: The W.A. Franke College of Business
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2015 20:41
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/1501

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