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Lean manufacturing, non‐financial performance measures, and financial performance

Rosemary R. Fullerton (Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)
William F. Wempe (M.J. Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 20 February 2009

21860

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how utilization of non‐financial manufacturing performance (NFMP) measures impacts the lean manufacturing/financial performance relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A structural equation model (SEM) is estimated using data provided by 121 US manufacturing executives. In addition to examining direct effects, the study examines whether NFMP measurement mediates or moderates the lean manufacturing/financial performance relationship.

Findings

The results provide substantial evidence that utilization of NFMP measures mediates the relationship between lean manufacturing and financial performance.

Research limitations/implications

The study's findings regarding NFMP measurement suggest that the mixed results of prior studies of the lean manufacturing/financial performance relationship may be due in part to a failure to account for NFMP measurement. Limitations of the study are the non‐random sample and its small sample size, relative to the SEM estimated.

Practical implications

Managers who implement lean manufacturing without utilizing supportive NFMP measures may experience disappointing financial results.

Originality/value

This is the first known study that adopts a SEM framework to examine: how NFMP measurement affects the relationship between lean production and profitability; the direct relationship between NFMP measurement and firm performance; and the impact of lean manufacturing on externally audited, objective measures of firm performance.

Keywords

Citation

Fullerton, R.R. and Wempe, W.F. (2009), "Lean manufacturing, non‐financial performance measures, and financial performance", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 214-240. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570910938970

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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