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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2021

Mia Mangaroo-Pillay and Rojanette Coetzee

The purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of Japanese Lean management principles in South African contexts using Ubuntu, to improve buy-in during Lean

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885

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of Japanese Lean management principles in South African contexts using Ubuntu, to improve buy-in during Lean implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping systematic literature review (SLR) was used to investigate the correlations and variations between Lean management principles and Ubuntu management principles.

Findings

Both similarities and differences were discovered between Ubuntu and Lean. It was noted that Lean adopts principles that do not have corresponding Ubuntu principles, such as levelling out workload, continuous process flow, stopping to fix the problem and visual management.

Research limitations/implications

While this research only used a South African concept (Ubuntu) to develop a novel Lean analogy, future research could be pursued in a similar vein for other countries outside of Japan.

Practical implications

The similarities could assist in “translating” Lean concepts to a South African context, ergo improving the understanding of the Lean principles and possibly contributing to more successful Lean implementations.

Originality/value

To the researcher’s knowledge at time of publication, this study is the first comparison of these two management philosophies. Ergo, the Lean–Ubuntu analogy is a novel comparison of Lean.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

T.C. Papadopoulou and M. Özbayrak

Although leanness is certainly not a new concept it is doubtless still relevant. Interestingly, newly developed manufacturing paradigms and systems are always examined in…

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6165

Abstract

Purpose

Although leanness is certainly not a new concept it is doubtless still relevant. Interestingly, newly developed manufacturing paradigms and systems are always examined in relation to leanness. In other words, leanness serves in most cases as the landmark paradigm with which comparisons are being drawn between the latter and recently pioneered approaches. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the evolutional orbit that leanness has followed over the years and serve as a herald of the current state of this evolution, which will be discussed further, in a separate paper.

Design/methodology/approach

A great part of this paper is devoted to highlighting the misconceptions surrounding issues such as what leanness really constitutes and what are the key concepts and practices that leanness encompasses. Two successful lean transition stories are presented showing how these lean tools and techniques were implemented in the cases of two UK‐based manufacturing companies.

Findings

Because of its inherently dynamic nature, leanness has undergone and still is undergoing a process of continuous and never‐ending evolution, the current state of which is expressed in the form of the lean enterprise model. Nevertheless, despite the undiminished attention and interest for leanness, the literature has failed to keep track of this evolution. For this reason a significant proportion of the literature relies on a rather antiquated vision of leanness.

Originality/value

The paper reviews two major waves of literature criticising leanness with the first focusing on its social aspects and the second questioning its universality mainly with respect to its limited applicability in high variety‐low volume production systems.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

M.P.J. Pepper and T.A. Spedding

Although research has been undertaken on the implementation of lean within various industries, the many tools and techniques that form the “tool box”, and its integration…

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24892

Abstract

Purpose

Although research has been undertaken on the implementation of lean within various industries, the many tools and techniques that form the “tool box”, and its integration with Six Sigma (mainly through case studies and action research), there has been little written on the journey towards the integration of the two approaches. This paper aims to examine the integration of lean principles with Six Sigma methodology as a coherent approach to continuous improvement, and provides a conceptual model for their successful integration.

Design/methodology/approach

Desk research and a literature review of each separate approach is provided, followed by a view of the literature of the integrated approach.

Findings

No standard framework for lean Six Sigma or its implementation exists. A systematic approach needs to be adopted, which optimises systems as a whole, focusing the right strategies in the correct places.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to knowledge by providing an insight into the evolution of the lean Six Sigma paradigm. It is suggested that a clear integration of the two approaches must be achieved, with sufficient scientific underpinning.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2019

Poonam Singh

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights toward the potential of lean healthcare organization for environment sustainability and develop propositions for future studies.

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1166

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights toward the potential of lean healthcare organization for environment sustainability and develop propositions for future studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper to study the inbuilt capacity of lean healthcare organization to mitigate environmental footprint. As a result, lean compatibility with environmental sustainability (ES) has been explored in areas like manufacturing, supply chain, aviation, construction, etc. The lean philosophy, lean culture and lean tools were analyzed to identify their contribution to ES in the context of healthcare organizations.

Findings

Based on the analysis of lean philosophy, culture and tool, this paper theorizes that lean healthcare organizations have huge potential to mitigate environmental footprints. Lean healthcare organizations need not to do any extra effort for ES albeit it is inbuilt in it. Lean philosophy provides a vision to the healthcare organization for ES whereas lean culture bestow healthcare with an epistemology for the same.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides insight that ES is embedded in lean healthcare organizations. Lean healthcare organizational culture is ideal for application for constructivism theory where employees construct a new knowledge from their experiences to minimize the waste that eventually help in ES.

Originality/value

Major contributions of the study include a new approach for mitigating the environmental footprints by adopting lean in healthcare organization.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Andrea Chiarini, Claudio Baccarani and Vittorio Mascherpa

The purpose of this paper is to compare principles from the original Toyota Production System (TPS), the Toyota Way 2001 and Kaizen philosophy with principles derived from…

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7857

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare principles from the original Toyota Production System (TPS), the Toyota Way 2001 and Kaizen philosophy with principles derived from Japanese Zen Buddhism. The paper would also like to enlarge the debate concerning some lessons learnt from Japanese culture in order to avoid Lean implementation failures.

Design/methodology/approach

The original English version of Taiichi Ohno’s book dedicated to the TPS, the Toyota Way 2001 and other relevant papers regarding Kaizen were reviewed and analyzed. The principles that emerged from the review of this literature were then compared with similar philosophical principles from Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism. The literature concerning Zen philosophy was methodically analyzed and categorized using the content analysis.

Findings

The results of this research show many theoretical parallelisms as well as lessons for practitioners, in particular referring to principles such as Jidoka, just-in-time, waste identification and elimination, challenge, Kaizen, Genchi Genbutsu, respect for people and teamwork.

Research limitations/implications

Analysis and results are mainly based on the literature that was found, reviewed and categorized, along with the knowledge of authors on Zen philosophy. Results could differ depending on the literature reviewed and categorized.

Practical implications

The results of this research bring food for thought to practitioners in terms of lessons learnt from Japanese culture, Toyota principles and management style in order to avoid Lean implementation failures.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers which compares Lean-TPS and Kaizen principles with the Zen philosophy to try to learn lessons for succeeding in Lean implementation.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Sanjay Bhasin and Peter Burcher

The purpose of this paper is to act as a meticulous conceptual paper probing the contemporary view towards lean and illustrate that, despite its discernible benefits, the…

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26030

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to act as a meticulous conceptual paper probing the contemporary view towards lean and illustrate that, despite its discernible benefits, the implementation record suffers as the prevailing opinion fails to encapsulate that an aspiring lean enterprise shall only succeed if it views lean as a philosophy rather than another strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a thorough literature search concerning the success and failure of lean implementations and acts as a precursor for one of the authors utilising a combination of methodologies; namely, interviewing, survey questionnaire and participant observation in attempting to prove his PhD hypothesis.

Findings

Evidently, a cocktail of factors are needed for lean success; not only is it necessary to implement most of the technical tools but an organisation's culture needs transforming too. Furthermore, the alterations need to be implemented throughout an organisation's value chain. Lean has a major strategic significance, though its implementation procedure, HRM implications, general approach to the supplier base coupled with the overall universal conviction of viewing lean as a set of tactics rather than embracing it as a philosophy advocates that this contributes to the relatively low number of successful lean initiatives.

Originality/value

The paper would prove invaluable to lean practitioners through its summation of the intricacies towards lean enterprise success and academic researchers by focusing their attention towards the necessary cultural implications.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Sanjay Bhasin

British empirical research suggests culture and change have contributed to every lean failure. Whilst prevailing research implies that successful lean implementations lead…

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2954

Abstract

Purpose

British empirical research suggests culture and change have contributed to every lean failure. Whilst prevailing research implies that successful lean implementations lead to a profitable organisation, it focuses upon the low numbers of successful lean conversions. The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of a suitable change strategy resulting in the likelihood of a triumphant lean implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

Predominantly, results from 68 survey questionnaires and seven case studies consisting of both questionnaires and interview schedules were utilised. Subsequently, extensive lean audits were carried out in 20 companies as a comprehensive validating exercise.

Findings

The significance of change was evident; a high correlation was found within the audits with successful organizations, suggesting that a triumphant implementation requires a systematic and controlled change strategy.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst lean failures are attributable to different causes, the fundamental issues of corporate culture and change are evident. Every company needs to find its own way to implement lean and it should be viewed as a never‐ending journey.

Practical implications

The implementation of lean cannot be taken nonchalantly, owing to the investment in terms of time and money. Consequently, if an organization pursues the change strategy suggested, the probability of success implementation is improved.

Originality/value

This research, undertaken in British manufacturing organisations, focused on a bespoke change strategy for lean, as there exists a plethora of research focusing at the generic change process.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2015

David Bamford, Paul Forrester, Benjamin Dehe and Rebecca Georgina Leese

The purpose of this paper is to explore the implementation of lean within two contrasting UK-based organizations; a food manufacturer and a healthcare organization. The…

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3969

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the implementation of lean within two contrasting UK-based organizations; a food manufacturer and a healthcare organization. The different contexts provide insight to the strategic desire for efficiency gains and tactical issues and challenges of lean execution and implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research questions developed from the review of the literature were tested using evidence from field-based, action research within a food manufacturer and a National Health Service organization. The reported contrasting case studies contribute to the longer term debate on the adoption and adaptation of lean-based “best practice” within organizations.

Findings

There are three primary findings: first, that the adoption of lean provides a strategic benefit, as well as providing a basis for a strategy of operational change; second, that partial, as opposed to full, adoption of lean occurs due to external organizational constraints, such as demand patterns, supplier unreliability, little expertise in deploying change programmes, etc.; and third, that a company will balance the adoption of the lean ideology against the financial costs and operational risks incurred in full adoption.

Practical implications

The conclusions drawn add substantially to the ongoing commentaries on aspects of lean, and develop interesting questions for future research regards the developed “Cycles of Lean Implementation” concept.

Originality/value

The conclusion proposes that partial implementation of the lean philosophy does not necessarily represent a conscious organizational choice, or any lack of conviction, but is representative of external constraints on the organization. This complements previous commentaries on appropriate strategies and develops interesting questions for future research into operational efficiency.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Helio Castro, Goran D. Putnik and Vaibhav Shah

The aim of this paper is to analyze international and national research and development (R&D) programs and roadmaps for the manufacturing sector, presenting how agile and…

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2478

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyze international and national research and development (R&D) programs and roadmaps for the manufacturing sector, presenting how agile and lean manufacturing models are addressed in these programs.

Design/methodology/approach

In this review, several manufacturing research and development programs and roadmaps – national programs from the USA and Canada, and international programs from the European Union and from one international organization – are reviewed.

Findings

The major finding of this review is that the main concerns in agile manufacturing, as highlighted in these programs, are networks, supply chain and product/service customization, and lean manufacturing's inclination towards achieving better cost efficiency. Although the lean manufacturing approach has been considered in many past and present programs, analysis of the most recent programs shows a greater priority is given to the agile manufacturing approach. The path towards sustainable manufacturing is delineated by pro‐active attitude and action towards customers.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyzes two national R&D programs from the USA, one international program from the European Union, three international roadmaps from the European Union, one business plan from Canada and one international roadmap from the global organization Intelligent Manufacturing Systems.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper are intended to help managers, researchers and practitioners from the manufacturing sector to enhance their understanding and define suitable strategy for their organizations' sustainability and identify suitable manufacturing path with respect to agile and lean philosophies. This study could also help academics in defining course curricula for students more coherent with the R&D policies and/or requirements towards sustainable manufacturing with respect to agile and lean philosophies.

Originality/value

There are reviews comparing agile and lean manufacturing paradigms, but there are no reviews about how the two manufacturing concepts are addressed in manufacturing R&D programs and roadmaps.

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Sanjay Bhasin

Existing audits fail to fully encapsulate the complexities of an organisation's value chain and the significance of culture and change to the success of Lean. The purpose…

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2652

Abstract

Purpose

Existing audits fail to fully encapsulate the complexities of an organisation's value chain and the significance of culture and change to the success of Lean. The purpose of this paper is to identify precisely what is meant by the term, “a genuine Lean organisation” through the application of a comprehensive Lean audit focused at manufacturing firms in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive audit was developed able to establish the juncture of an organisation's Lean journey. This was piloted within 20 manufacturing organisations in the UK. A total of 104 separate indices are used, which are grouped within 12 distinctive categories.

Findings

The audit provides an organisation with a Lean vision. Lean requires a considerable commitment and whilst successful implementations facilitate the improvement of numerous indices, the audit acquaints an organisation of the multifaceted requirements for Lean. Its real value is in identifying the juncture of Lean an organisation has accomplished.

Research limitations/implications

The audit has been tested in 20 manufacturing organisations; a natural extension would be to replicate the exercise within the service sector.

Practical implications

The audit results demonstrate how it is possible to split an organisation's Lean journey into seven evident phases. The feedback would improve the implementation records within the UK.

Originality/value

This paper tackles a void within the literature of a comprehensive Lean audit specifically examining: whether an organisation had adopted Lean as a philosophy, and to distinctively deduce the phase of a Lean journey the organisation had reached.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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