The purpose of the current study is to address a debatable issue in the extant literature regarding lean management (LM), innovation and operational performance (OP) relationships in the manufacturing SMEs. It conceptualizes LM in terms of social and technical aspects and investigates their effects on process innovation, management innovation and OP. The mediating roles of process and management innovations on social/technical-OP relationships are also explored.
The study analyzes survey data gathered from 268 manufacturing SMEs belonging to different industry types in Jordan. Validity and reliability tests of the first and second order constructs were performed. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the study hypotheses.
Both social and technical LM were found to positively affect OP. Social LM positively affected both process and management innovations. However, the effect of technical LM on both types of innovation was not significant. In addition, process and management innovations positively mediated social LM-OP relationship. Nonetheless, neither type of innovation showed mediating effects on technical LM-OP relationship.
This study is one of the first to highlight the proposed relationships, in general, and in the context of SMEs in a developing country context, in particular. It offers important implications for the managers of SMEs to benefit from LM implementation and avoid its failure, enhance innovation efforts by focusing on social LM practices and subsequently achieve higher levels of OP.
Abdallah, A.B., Alkhaldi, R.Z. and Aljuaid, M.M. (2021), "Impact of social and technical lean management on operational performance in manufacturing SMEs: the roles of process and management innovations", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 1418-1444. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-06-2020-0252
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