The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of management support in a lean implementation. The impact the lean implementation made on communication within the organization is also examined.
Qualitative methods were used to study the relationships between management support, organizational communications, and a lean manufacturing implementation. A case study was conducted in an electronics manufacturing company in the northwestern USA. Data were collected over a three‐month time period. The data were coded using an evolving coding scheme and analysis was performed on the resulting data set.
Evidence was found to support the supposition that management support does play a role in driving a lean manufacturing implementation. Management support impacted the lean manufacturing implementation both negatively and positively. The research also found moderate support for improved communication in the organization attributable to the lean implementation.
The organization studied was in the early stages of implementing lean manufacturing practices and principles. Future research should include multiple organizations with a longer history of lean manufacturing.
The research findings identified management support and communications as important variables in a lean manufacturing implementation. Furthermore, there is evidence that these variables are critical in not only the implementation of lean manufacturing practices and principles, but also in the ongoing planning and deployment efforts of organizational leaders.
This research provided empirical evidence for the role of management support and communication in an organization's lean implementation. The findings highlight the importance of studying organizational phenomenon within real‐world settings. As a result of the methodology used, both positive and negative implications were identified. The research design has enabled the uncovering of a complex set of relationships that existed between two sociocultural variables and an organization's effort to improve performance through the implementation of lean practices.
Worley, J.M. and Doolen, T.L. (2006), "The role of communication and management support in a lean manufacturing implementation", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 228-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740610650210Download as .RIS
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