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A multicase study approach in Indian manufacturing SMEs to investigate the effect of Lean manufacturing practices on sustainability performance

Sajan M.P. (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Government Engineering College Thrissur, Thrissur, India)
Shalij P.R. (Department of Production Engineering, Government Engineering College Thrissur, Thrissur, India)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 23 December 2020

Issue publication date: 16 July 2021

1009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the adoption of Lean manufacturing (LM) contributes towards the sustainability performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a multi-case study approach conducted among five independent Indian manufacturing SMEs. The information from direct observation, structured questionnaire interviews with key persons and archival data are used to analyse and cross-check the relationship. An assessment tool, developed using the variables collected from the previous works, is used to measure the relationship.

Findings

The study provides a solid basis for the contribution and positive influence of LM towards the sustainability performance in SMEs. The manufacturing SMEs that have adopted Lean principles and practices are benefited more towards their economic, environmental and social sustainability performances, irrespective of their operational characteristics such as firm size and final product.

Research limitations/implications

This is a limited study conducted in a particular state in India by selecting only five independent case companies with divergent operational characteristics such as size of the firms, product and manufacturing process.

Originality/value

The study contributes by authorising the contribution of LM towards sustainability performance of SMEs. The findings will inspire academic community and industrial practitioners to expend for the adoption of Lean principles looking forward the sustainable development of the SMEs.

Keywords

Citation

M.P., S. and P.R., S. (2021), "A multicase study approach in Indian manufacturing SMEs to investigate the effect of Lean manufacturing practices on sustainability performance", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 579-606. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-04-2020-0044

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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