This paper aims to resolve the inhibitors of lean service using knowledge management (KM) concepts through the use of Toyota Kata. To achieve this, the authors updated the research on lean supportive practices and inhibitors of lean technical practices presented by Hadid and Afshin Mansouri (2014) through a systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR focused on empirical studies/cases from the past 15 years and confirmed the inhibitors of lean technical practices. As a result, Toyota Kata is proposed as a KM solution to the inhibitors of lean service implementation in service companies.
The authors carried out an SLR to identify inhibitors of lean service in real case applications and analyzed the resulting bibliographic portfolio using KM as a lens, along with three theories: universal theory, socio-technical systems theory and contingency theory, which assist in highlighting and clarifying the potential impact of using Toyota Kata as a solution to the inhibitors of lean technical practices.
When the authors analyzed the inhibitors of lean technical practices, they discovered that there is a strong relationship between the inhibitors and the individual (staff) personal characteristics regarding commitment, involvement, communication and preparation. These inhibitors and characteristics should work as a system, and Toyota Kata improves people’s skills and process performance by connecting people, processes and technology. Also, the authors noted that the Toyota Kata concept used can provide benefits in the implementation of lean service for companies, such as the internalization of continuous improvement, this becoming part of the company culture. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that Toyota Kata provides an effective way to achieve KM.
This study may not have enabled a complete coverage of all existing peer-reviewed articles in the field of practices and inhibitors presented by Hadid and Afshin Mansouri (2014). However, it seems reasonable to assume that in this review, a large proportion of the studies available was included.
This paper opens a new perspective on the use of Toyota Kata by managers as a solution to implement KM, spinning the spiral of knowledge.
This is the first study that seeks empirical evidence of inhibitors of lean technical practices and proposes Toyota Kata as a KM Solution for these issues. As a result, this study advances the facility to overcome these inhibitors, opening a new perspective for management to lead in achieving operational excellence.
Ferenhof, H.A., Da Cunha, A.H., Bonamigo, A. and Forcellini, F.A. (2018), "Toyota Kata as a KM solution to the inhibitors of implementing lean service in service companies", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 404-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-11-2017-0083
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