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Does lean manufacturing improve firm value?

Xuechang Zhu (College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University , Tianjin, China)
Yu Lin (College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University , Tianjin, China)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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2331

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of lean manufacturing on firm value. In particular, it analyses the effects of R&D investment on the relationship between lean manufacturing and firm value.

Design/methodology/approach

In this empirical analysis of the relationship between lean manufacturing and firm value, the authors use a propensity score matching (PSM) with a difference-in-difference (DID) estimator to control selection bias and reduce endogenous problems. They also use the triple difference estimator to explore the role of R&D investment.

Findings

The results suggest that the achievement of positive and significant effects of lean manufacturing implementation on firm value for a long time and R&D can accelerate this progress.

Research limitations/implications

This study highlights the role of R&D investment in accelerating the achievement of positive effects of lean manufacturing on firm value. However, the results may not be entirely generalizable because the empirical data are based solely on Chinese manufacturing firms.

Practical implications

Managers need to perform long-term planning while implementing lean manufacturing and should not over-expect a significant short-term improvement in performance. The authors also recommend that enterprises should pay attention to R&D while implementing lean manufacturing.

Originality/value

This paper may be the first study to empirically examine the relationship between lean manufacturing and firm value in China by combining a PSM model with the DID estimator to reduce endogenous problems.

Keywords

Citation

Zhu, X. and Lin, Y. (2017), "Does lean manufacturing improve firm value?", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 422-437. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-05-2016-0071

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited