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Negotiating lean: The fluidity and solidity of new management technologies in the Danish public sector

Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen (Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Mahad Huniche (Region Zealand, Sorø, Denmark)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 26 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how negotiations between the constituencies affect the processes and outcomes of lean projects in Danish public sector organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of interviews with managers and employees who have participated in lean projects in the Danish public sector. Negotiated order theory serves as the overarching theoretical framework for the analysis.

Findings

The paper concludes that the processes and outcomes of lean depend not only on the technology itself, but also the negotiation context in which the planning and implementation of lean projects take place. Lean implementation is not a neutral and value‐free activity; it is fluid and open for multiple interpretations, interests, and logics.

Research limitations/implications

The project is based on qualitative data from lean projects in the Danish public sector. It cannot be concluded that the findings can be generalised to reflect all types of lean projects across organisational and geographical settings.

Originality/value

The paper adds value to the relatively scarce literature on lean management in the public sector by exploring how negotiative processes influence the planning, implementation, and maintenance/development of lean projects.

Keywords

Citation

Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, E. and Huniche, M. (2011), "Negotiating lean: The fluidity and solidity of new management technologies in the Danish public sector", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 60 No. 6, pp. 550-566. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410401111150742

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited