Knowledge building about performance evaluation in lean production: An investigation on international scientific research

Andre Eduardo Staedele (Departamento de Engenharia da Produção e Sistemas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Sandra Rolim Ensslin (Departamento de Contabilidade, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Fernando Antônio Forcellini (Departamento de Engenharia da Produção e Sistemas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 12 August 2019



The purpose of this paper is to focus on the analysis of the characteristics and gaps of a literature fragment from the international scientific publications on performance evaluation in lean production, aiming to generate new knowledge and suggestions for future scientific research.


The authors have adopted “ProKnow-C” methodology, a qualitative research approach that is used for literature selection, identification, analysis and reflection on the established characteristics.


From a bibliographic portfolio of 67 research works, 91 per cent of the works have individual metrics and 84 per cent have sets of metrics. Evaluating the focus of the performance measurement system, 34 per cent of works measure performance, 43 per cent compare performance and only 18 per cent assist in strategic planning. Evaluating the phases of the PMS life cycle, 87 per cent attend to the design, and 66 per cent attend to the activities of data collection, allow diagnosis, evaluate performance and communicate results. However, only 3 per cent of the studies analysed the use of PMS after its implementation and no research evidenced the review of metrics and objectives based on strategic planning.

Research limitations/implications

The search formula to capture the bibliographic portfolio (BP) was limited to the following terms: performance measurement, performance evaluation, performance assess*, performance appraisal, management, indicator*, critical factors, best practices, lean production, lean manufacturing and lean system. The BP was determined based on the limitations set by the research authors: articles published in English and Portuguese languages, from 2000 to 2018, in the Engineering Village, Scopus, EBSCO, Web of Science, ProQuest and Science Direct databases, which were freely available on the internet. Lastly, conceptual knowledge was used to select the articles, so there is a chance that unintentional losses could happen.

Practical implications

As practical implications for practitioners, the authors have identified that a PMS from an organisation that aims to become “lean” needs to be defined and revised considering its strategy, adjusting its set of metrics and targets to the internal and external challenges. As practical implications for researchers, opportunities have been identified to develop longitudinal studies in PMS utilisation and review to understand how the measurement system must evolve over time through changes in the internal and external environments of organisations.


This research adds value because its results allow researchers and practitioners to visualise the boundaries of the knowledge from the BP, about performance management in lean production, and what their gaps are in relation to the reference model of performance evaluation. This research is original because it was not observed in the literature review, a research that used the ProKnow-C methodology for analysis of the alignment and gaps between lean production and performance evaluation.



Staedele, A.E., Ensslin, S.R. and Forcellini, F.A. (2019), "Knowledge building about performance evaluation in lean production: An investigation on international scientific research", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 798-820.



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