Lean manufacturing (LM) constitutes a consolidated alternative that has been successfully used to increase company effectiveness and performance. However, different studies have shown that many companies that attempt to integrate LM into their manufacturing operations fail in their efforts. Recent studies have shown that soft practices are a key factor for a successful LM implementation. The purpose of this paper is to analyze an in-depth review of the different human-related lean practices (HRLP) referenced in the recent literature and to identify which of them are more relevant to a successful LM implementation.
The findings presented in this paper are based on the results of a study about the situation of LM in Spain carried out with lean production managers and frontline supervisors of 202 Spanish companies with a high percent (74 percent) of international firms with factories in different countries. The implemented methodology uses factor analysis and structural equation modeling.
The results shows statistical evidence of the relationship between management’s HRLP (fostering a lean culture, providing support to lean), employees’ HRLP (employee involvement and employee empowerment) and operational performance (OP) (waste reduction and flexibility).
The results have academic and practical relevance for clarifying lean phenomena, helping managers to define a sequence in which a company should implement HRLP to successfully implement LM and increase its OP.
This study fills a research gap by exploring the existing causal relationships between a greater number of variables, both dependent and independent in relation to human factors in LM implementations.
Hernandez-Matias, J.C., Ocampo, J.R., Hidalgo, A. and Vizan, A. (2019), "Lean manufacturing and operational performance: Interrelationships between human-related lean practices", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 217-235. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-04-2019-0140Download as .RIS
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