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Lean construction and resilience while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: an analysis of construction companies in Brazil

Isaías Simeão (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil)
Karine Araujo Ferreira (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the benefits provided by the implementation of the lean philosophy, the most recent research discusses whether the high degrees of efficiency obtained with the implementation this philosophy could contribute positively or negatively in current pandemic scenario. This study aims to analyze how resilient construction industry companies in Brazil were in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, comparing the performance of construction companies with different implementation levels of lean construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies were carried out in construction companies in Brazil with different application levels of the lean philosophy.

Findings

Among the results obtained, greater resilience to face COVID-19 was verified in those with a higher implementation level of the lean philosophy. Additionally, it was found that the larger the size of the companies surveyed, the greater the level of implementation of the lean philosophy.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the state of pandemic, and the work carried out in the home office, contact with companies was restricted. In addition, few companies actually adopt the lean philosophy in the construction sector in Brazil. Most of companies use only a few lean construction tools in specific sectors. For the few others who actually implement the philosophy, the acceptance to participate in the research was low.

Originality/value

The lean construction is something very new and innovative for the construction sector in Brazil, and there is little evidence of its use. Few companies adopt the philosophy in the country, and many of them also did not experience such an impactful moment in their entire existence. Thus, the analysis of the relationship between lean construction and resilience in the civil construction sector in Brazil is something innovative.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Data availability statement: Some or all data, models or code that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Citation

Simeão, I. and Ferreira, K.A. (2022), "Lean construction and resilience while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: an analysis of construction companies in Brazil", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-02-2022-0027

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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