Implementation of Lean‐Kaizen in the human resource service process

Manuel F. Suárez‐Barraza (Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE) Zona Centro, Tecnológico de Monterrey at Toluca, Toluca, México)
Juan Ramis‐Pujol (Operations Management and Innovation Department, ESADE – Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 16 March 2010



Over the last decade, some Mexican public organisations have begun to enter into a dynamic in which issues such as service quality, ongoing improvement, and internal and external customer orientation are becoming essential to their day‐to‐day management. The purpose of this paper is to present a successful example of how Lean‐Kaizen is implemented in the human resource service process of a Mexican public service organisation.


The research method adopted is the case study. Research is carried out in a Mexican public service organisation, and adopts a retrospective focus. Four methods are used to gather data: direct observation; participative observation; documentary analysis; and semi‐structured interviews.


The Lean‐Kaizen approach helps this public service organisation to improve cycle times in the human resource selection and hiring process. Various enablers and inhibitors are also identified during implementation.

Research limitations/implications

Research is based on a single case study. However, rather than seeking empirical generalisation, it tries to examine how the Lean‐Kaizen approach can be successfully implemented in a service process.

Practical implications

The research is effectively a guide for practitioners (public managers) wishing to apply or already applying Lean‐Kaizen in their service processes.


A review of academic and practitioner literature on the subject indicated that implementation of the Lean‐Kaizen approach has hardly begun to be explored. It is also significant that in Mexico and Latin America, examples of the transfer and implementation of this kind of approach are practically non‐existent in academic literature on the subject.



Suárez‐Barraza, M. and Ramis‐Pujol, J. (2010), "Implementation of Lean‐Kaizen in the human resource service process", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 388-410.

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