Methodology/Approach: The paper is based on a review of the contemporary literature on Lean Production; both journal articles and books.
Findings: It is shown in the paper that there is no consensus on a definition of Lean Production between the examined authors. The authors also seem to have different opinions on which characteristics that should be associated with the concept. Overall it can be concluded that Lean Production is not clearly defined in the reviewed literature. This divergence can cause some confusion on a theoretical level; but is probably more problematic on a practical level when organizations aim to implement the concept. This paper argues that it is important for an organization to acknowledge the different variations; and to raise the awareness of the input in the implementation process. It is further argued that the organization should not accept any random variant of Lean; but make active choices and adapt the concept to suit the organization‚Äôs needs. Through this process of adaptation; the organization will be able to increase the odds of performing a predictable and successful implementation.
Originality/Value: This paper provides a critical perspective on the discourse surrounding Lean Production; and gives an input to the discussion of the implementation of management models.
Keywords: Lean Production; Definition; Construct Validity; Total Quality Management
11th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organizational Development Attaining Sustainability From Organizational Excellence to SustainAble Excellence; 20-22 August; 2008 in Helsingborg; Sweden
References marked with an asterisk (*) are results of the literature search.
*Adler; P. S.; & Cole; R. E. (1993). Designed for learning - a tale of 2 auto plants. Sloan Management Review; 34(3); 85-94.
Andersson; R.; Eriksson; H. & Torstensson; H. (2006). Similarities and differences between TQM; six sigma and lean. The TQM Magazine; 18(3); 282-296.
*Benders; J.; & Van Bijsterveld; M. (2000). Leaning on lean: The reception of a management fashion in germany. New Technology; Work and Employment; 15(1); 50-64.
Berggren; C. (1992). Alternatives to Lean Production: Work Organization in the Swedish Auto Industry. New York: ILR Press
*Berggren; C. (1993). Lean production - the end of history. Work Employment and Society; 7(2); 163-188.
Bicheno; J. (2004). The new lean toolbox: Towards fast; flexible flow (3rd ed.). Buckingham: PICSIE Books.
Boaden; R. (1997). What is total quality management ... and does it matter? Total Quality Management & Business Excellence; 8(4); 153-171.
*Cappelli; P.; & Rogovsky; N. (1998). Employee involvement and organizational citizenship: Implications for labor law reform and "lean production". Industrial and Labor Relations Review; 51(4); 633-653.
Conti; R.; Angelis; J.; Cooper; C.; Faragher; B.; & Gill; C. (2006). The effects of lean production on worker job stress. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 26(9); 1013-1038.
Cooney; R. (2002). Is ‚Äúlean‚ÄĚ a universal production system? ‚Äď Batch production in the automotive industry. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 22(10); 1130-1147.
*Cusumano; M. A. (1994). The limits of lean. Sloan Management Review; 35(4); 27-32.
*Cutchergershenfeld; J.; Nitta; M.; Barrett; B.; Belhedi; N.; Bullard; J.; Coutchie; C.; et al. (1994). Japanese team-based work systems in north-america - explaining the diversity. California Management Review; 37(1); 42-64.
*Dankbaar; B. (1997). Lean production: Denial; confirmation or extension of sociotechnical systems design? Human Relations; 50(5); 567-583.
*Delbridge; R.; Lowe; J.; & Oliver; N. (2000). Shopfloor responsibilities under lean teamworking. Human Relations; 53(11); 1459-1479.
Deming; W. E. (1986). Out of the Crisis; Cambridge: The MIT Press
Dennis; P. (2002). Lean production simplified: A plain language guide to the world’s most powerful production system. New York: Productivity Press.
*Dyer; J. H. (1994). Dedicated assets - japan manufacturing edge. Harvard Business Review; 72(6); 174-178.
Engstr√∂m; T.; Jonsson; D.; & Medbo; L. (1996). Production model discourse and experiences from the swedish automotive industry. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 16(2); 141-158.
*Ezzamel; M.; Willmott; H.; & Worthington; F. (2001). Power; control and resistance in ’the factory that time forgot’. Journal of Management Studies; 38(8); 1053-1079.
Feld; W. M. (2001). Lean manufacturing: Tools; techniques; and how to use them. Boca Raton: St. Lucie Press.
*Godfrey; G.; Dale; B.; Marchington; M.; & Wilkinson; A. (1997). Control: A contested concept in TQM research. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 17(6); 558-573.
Hackman; J. R.; & Wageman; R. (1995). Total quality management: Empirical; conceptual; and practical issues. Administrative Science arterly; 40(2)
*Hayes; R. H.; & Pisano; G. P. (1994). Beyond world-class - the new manufacturing strategy. Harvard Business Review; 72(1); 77-86.
Hines; P.; Holweg; M.; & Rich; N. (2004). Learning to evolve: A review of contemporary lean thinking. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 24(10); 994-1011.
*Jagdev; H. S.; & Browne; J. (1998). The extended enterprise - a context for manufacturing. Production Planning & Control; 9(3); 216 229.
*James-Moore; S. M.; & Gibbons; A. (1997). Is lean manufacture universally relevant? an investigative methodology. International Journal of Operations and Production Management; 17(9); 899-911.
Jens J. Dahlgaard; & Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park. (2006). Lean production; six sigma quality; TQM and company culture. TQM Magazine; 18(3); 263-281.
Jones; D. T.; & Womack; J. P. (2002). Seeing the whole Lean Enterprise Inst Brookline; MA.
Kamata; S. (1982). Japan in the passing lane: An insider’s account of life in a japanese auto factory Pantheon Books.
Karlsson; C.; & √Öhlstr√∂m; P. (1996). Assessing changes towards lean production. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 16(2); 24-41.
*Karlsson; C.; & √Öhlstr√∂m; P. (1997). A lean and global smaller firm? International Journal of Operations and Production Management; 17(10); 940-952.
Keys; J. B. & Miller; T. R. (1984). The Japanese Management Theory Jungle. The Academy of Management Review; 9(2); 342-353
*King; A. A.; & Lenox; M. J. (2001). Lean and green? an empirical examination of the relationship between lean production and environmental performance. Production and Operations Management; 10(3); 244-256.
*Krafcik; J. F. (1988). Triumph of the lean production system. Sloan Management Review; 30(1); 41-51.
*Lamming; R. (1996). Squaring lean supply with supply chain management. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 16(2); 183-&.
*Lewis; M. A. (2000). Lean production and sustainable competitive advantage. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 20(8); 959-978.
Liker; J. K. (1998). Becoming Lean: Inside Stories of U.S. Manufacturers. New York: Productivity Press
Liker; J. K. (2004). The toyota way: 14 management principles from the World‚Äôs greatest manufacturer. New York: McGraw-Hill.
*Lowe; J.; Delbridge; R.; & Oliver; N. (1997). High-performance manufacturing: Evidence from the automotive components industry. Organization Studies; 18(5); 783-798.
*MacDuffie; J. P.; & Helper; S. (1997). Creating lean suppliers: Diffusing lean production throughout the supply chain. California Management Review; 39(4); 118-&.
*MacDuffie; J. P.; Sethuraman; K.; & Fisher; M. L. (1996). Product variety and manufacturing performance: Evidence from the international automotive assembly plant study. Management Science; 42(3); 350-369.
*Mason-Jones; R.; & Towill; D. R. (1997). Information enrichment: Designing the supply chain for competitive advantage. Supply Chain Management; 2(4); 137-148.
Monden; Y. (1998). Toyota production system: An integrated approach to just-in-time (2nd ed.). London: Chapman & Hall.
*Mueller; F. (1994). Societal effect; organizational effect and globalization. Organization Studies; 15(3); 407-428.
*Mumford; E. (1994). New treatments or old remedies: Is business process reengineering really socio-technical design? Journal of Strategic Information Systems; 3(4); 313-326.
*Naylor; J. B.; Naim; M. M.; & Berry; D. (1999). Leagility: Integrating the lean and agile manufacturing paradigms in the total supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics; 62(1-2); 107-118.
Nicholas; J.; & Soni; A. (2006). The portal to lean production: Principles and practices for doing more with less CRC Press.
*Niepce; W.; & Molleman; E. (1998). Work design issues in lean production from a sociotechnical systems perspective: Neo-taylorism or the next step in sociotechnical design? Human Relations; 51(3); 259-286.
Ohno; T. (1988). Toyota production system: Beyond large-scale production. Portland: Productivity Press.
*Oliver; N.; Delbridge; R.; & Lowe; J. (1996). Lean production practices: International comparisons in the auto components industry. British Journal of Management; 7(SPEC. ISS.)
Parker; S. K. (2003). Longitudinal effects of lean production on employee outcomes and the mediating role of work characteristics. The Journal of Applied Psychology; 88(4); 620-634.
Riley; J. F. (1998) Process Management. In: Juran; J. M.; & Godfrey; A. B. (eds.). Juran’s quality handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill
Rother; M.; & Shook; J. (1998). Learning to see: Value stream mapping to create value and eliminate muda. Brookline: Lean Enterprise Institute.;
*Sa^nchez; A. M.; & P√©rez; M. P. (2001). Lean indicators and manufacturing strategies. International Journal of Operations and Production Management; 21(11); 1433-1451.
*Scarbrough; H. (1998). The unmaking of management? change and continuity in british management in the 1990s. Human Relations; 51(6); 691-715.
Schonberger; R. J. (1982). Japanese manufacturing techniques: Nine hidden lessons in simplicity. New York: Free Press.
*Shah; R.; & Ward; P. T. (2003). Lean manufacturing: Context; practice bundles; and performance. Journal of Operations Management; 21(2); 129-149.
Shah; R.; & Ward; P. T. (2007). Defining and developing measures of lean production. Journal of Operations Management; 25(4); 785-805.
*Shaiken; H.; Lopez; S.; & Mankita; I. (1997). Two routes to team production: Saturn and chrysler compared. Industrial Relations; 36(1); 17-45.
Shingo; S. (1984). A study of the toyota production system from an industrial engineering viewpoint. Tokyo: Japan Management Association.
Smalley; A. (2004). Creating level pull. Brookline: Lean Enterprise Institute.
S√∂rqvist; L. (1998). Poor quality costing. Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology
*Thompson; P.; & Wallace; T. (1996). Redesigning production through teamworking - case studies from the volvo truck corporation. International Journal of Operations & Production Management; 16(2); 103-&.
*Weinberg; G. M. (1992). Quality software management (vol. 1): Systems thinking New York: Dorset House Publishing Co.
*White; R. E.; & Prybutok; V. (2001). The relationship between JIT practices and type of production system. Omega; 29(2); 113-124.
*Williams; K.; Haslam; C.; Williams; J.; Cutler; T.; Adcroft; A.; & Johal; S. (1992). Against lean production. Economy and Society; 21(3); 321-354.
*Womack; J. P.; & Jones; D. T. (1994). From lean production to the lean enterprise. Harvard Business Review; 72(2); 93-103.
Womack; J. P.; & Jones; D. T. (2003). Lean thinking: Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation New York: Free Press.
Womack; J. P.; Jones; D. T.; & Roos; D. (1990). The machine that changed the world: The story of lean production. New York: Rawson Associates.
*Wood; S. (1999). Human resource management and performance. International Journal of Management Reviews; 1(4); 367-413.
*Zhu; Q. H.; & Sarkis; J. (2004). Relationships between operational practices and performance among early adopters of green supply chain management practices in chinese manufacturing enterprises. Journal of Operations Management; 22(3); 265-289.