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Lean manufacturing practices in Indian manufacturing SMEs and their effect on sustainability performance

Sajan M.P. (Mechanical Engineering Department, Government Engineering College Thrissur, Thrissur, India)
Shalij P.R. (Production Engineering Department, Government Engineering College Thrissur, Thrissur, India)
Ramesh A. (Mechanical Engineering Department, Government Engineering College Thrissur, Thrissur, India)
Biju Augustine P. (Mechanical Engineering Department, Government Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam, India)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The relevance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in contributing to the economy and social development is increasingly felt in the current business environment. Focusing on sustainable development, SMEs have also implemented many acting strategies of large-scale enterprises such as lean and green practices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the linkage between lean manufacturing practices (LMPs) in SMEs and their sustainability performances. Further, this study explores the relationship between the triple bottom line sustainability performances.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a survey conducted and data collected from 252 manufacturing SMEs in India. The hypothesized relationships are then analyzed with structural equation modeling.

Findings

The outcome of the analysis shows that LMPs are positively associated with various sustainability performances categorized as economic, environmental, and social performances. Further, this study shows that environmental sustainability is correlated with economic and social sustainability performances.

Research limitations/implications

The study conducted was limited to a particular state in India. Moreover, the study uses the data from a cross-sectional survey from single respondents.

Practical implications

The findings of the study become an added advantage for the managers to convince their various stakeholders for implementing LMPs in SMEs.

Originality/value

The research findings provide theoretical and practical insights to derive the importance of LMPs in maximizing sustainability performances. It gives an enhanced perspective of the importance of LMPs on the sustainability performance of SMEs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

M.P., S., P.R., S., A., R. and P., B.A. (2017), "Lean manufacturing practices in Indian manufacturing SMEs and their effect on sustainability performance", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 772-793. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-12-2016-0188

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited