The purpose of this paper is to understand how a continuous improvement (CI) approach like lean production (LP) integration is affected by dynamic conditions and to propose how LP integration can be adaptable to dynamic conditions.
A longitudinal case study has been conducted in which data were collected through participative observations, observations, documents and an in-depth semi-structured interview.
The adaptability is related to the maturity level of the LP integration, where more mature organisations are better equipped to deal with the challenges occurring due to their learning and experimentation capabilities. The main problem is that the LP integration needs to be adapted, like compromising with just-in-time. This creates challenges to more immature organisations; they do not seem to be able to adapt the LP integration since the skills are lacking.
The research limitations are associated with the research design and therefore might limit generalisation of the context studied.
The management needs to stay focused on the LP integration to continue building CI capability. There is a need to adapt the LP concept, which includes assessing how proposed changes and the LP concept interact in order to make them reinforce each other. This involves creating guidelines concerning adaptation and facilitating a transition from mainly single-loop learning to double-loop learning.
This paper contributes by describing challenges that have an impact on LP integration and related organisational adaptability under dynamic conditions.
This research work has been funded by the Knowledge Foundation in the framework of the INNOFACTURE Research School, the participating companies and Mälardalen University. The research work is also a part of the Initiative for Excellence in Production Research (XPRES), which is a joint project between Mälardalen University, the Royal Institute of Technology and Swerea. XPRES is one of two governmentally funded Swedish strategic initiatives for research excellence in production engineering.
Stålberg, L. and Fundin, A. (2018), "Lean production integration adaptable to dynamic conditions", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 1358-1375. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-02-2018-0055Download as .RIS
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