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Enhancing the study of Lean transformation through organizational culture analysis

Kristen Snyder (Department of Quality Management, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden)
Pernilla Ingelsson (Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics (KMM), Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden)
Ingela Bäckström (Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 19 September 2016

1542

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and synthesize approaches to studying Lean transformation to further develop a comprehensive approach that integrates organizational culture analysis and performance measurement systems from a systems perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in nature and based on a review of the literature in the areas of measuring Lean transformation and studying organizational culture. Three questions guide this conceptual analysis: “What approaches have been used to examine Lean transformation in business and public sector organizations?”; “Is there evidence of a focus on organizational culture in the measurement practices in Lean transformation and, if so, how?”; and “What can we learn from organizational cultural theorists about developing a more comprehensive framework to study Lean transformation?”. The analysis was conducted in two phases: In Phase 1, a database search was conducted using the key words Lean transformation, studying Lean, studying Lean transformation, studying organizational culture in Lean and measuring Lean, from which eight papers were selected. In Phase 2, the authors reviewed two models for studying organizational culture.

Findings

Findings indicated that the dominant approach to study and measure Lean transformation is based on the performance measurement model. Based on this approach, there was little evidence of a focus on organizational culture, and few integrated the human dimensions with the tools and practices. The authors also found evidence of a greater awareness of the need to develop a balanced performance measurement system that reflects both the subjective soft measures and the objective hard measures. Among the approaches studied, two models did reflect integration between hard and soft measures: Dahlgaard et al.’s (2011) 4Ps and Najem et al. ’s (2012) assessment model for studying organizational culture in Lean. Both of these methods provide a strong framework from which to further enhance the study of Lean transformation by incorporating elements from Bantz’s (1993) organizational communication culture method and Martin’s (1992) Matrix concept.

Originality/value

This paper furthers the academic dialogue on measuring Lean transformation through its unique analysis of studying organizational culture.

Keywords

Citation

Snyder, K., Ingelsson, P. and Bäckström, I. (2016), "Enhancing the study of Lean transformation through organizational culture analysis", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 395-411. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-04-2016-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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