A tool application model for Root Cause Analysis

Iain Muir, Michele Cano*, Alan Terry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a research study investigating the use of root cause analysis (RCA) in embedding and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement and the development of an approach model (Tool Application Model TAM).

Using a case study approach the use of RCA tools and how they are perceived by the participants in problem solving in small groups were investigated with the aim of finding a more robust problem solving approach for reducing or eliminating recurring errors in a complex manufacturing environment. The RCA tools used as part of the investigation were Ishikawa's cause-and-effect (CED) method along with 5 Why's analysis.

The initial findings show that to embed a culture of continuous improvement within the scope of problem solving methods a structured approach which encourages participation, engages stakeholders, enables group decision making, promotes learning, and empowers individuals to bring about cultural change must be used.

Practical implications
The proposed Tool Application Model (TAM) to explore the
'human element' of root cause analysis can be used in conjunction with other quality tools and techniques to provide a structured approach in problem solving.

This paper is of value in that it proposes a Tool Application Model to assist those undertaking root cause analysis as part of a continuous improvement programme.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th Toulon-Verona International Conference Excellence in Services
Subtitle of host publicationUniversity of Huelva, (Spain), 5 and 6 September 2016
EditorsClaudio Baccarani, Jacques Martin
Place of PublicationHuelva, Spain
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9788890432767
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016
Event19th Toulon-Verona International Conference: Excellence in Services - University of Huelva, Huelva, Spain
Duration: 5 Sept 20166 Sept 2016


Conference19th Toulon-Verona International Conference


  • Root cause analysis (RCA)
  • Continuous improvement
  • Culture change
  • Problem solving
  • Cause and effect diagram (CED)


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