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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Paul G. Ranky

To offer lean design and assembly principles with a focus on “monozukuri,” meaning sustainable, environmentally friendly factories and products with simultaneously…

Abstract

Purpose

To offer lean design and assembly principles with a focus on “monozukuri,” meaning sustainable, environmentally friendly factories and products with simultaneously integrated product and process designs.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on extensive study of products, processes and factories, 18 “monozukuri‐focused” product, process, factory design and management principles are explained by the author.

Findings

The rule‐based approach to designing lean, sustainable, “monozukuri‐focused” flexible products, processes, production systems and factories will reduce waste at all levels, and create new opportunities for satisfying dynamically changing market needs.

Originality/value

Reveals 18 lean design and assembly line design and management principles with some practical industrial examples.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Keivan Zokaei, Ioannis Manikas and Hunter Lovins

This paperaims to review how the field of lean and green has been evolving. Authors draw parallels between the fields of sustainability and quality management. The paper’s…

Abstract

Purpose

This paperaims to review how the field of lean and green has been evolving. Authors draw parallels between the fields of sustainability and quality management. The paper’s title is borrowed and modified from Crosby’s seminal book: Quality is Free.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts with a review on how early lean researchers in the late 1980s draw upon benchmark studies, looking at Toyota versus other auto manufacturers to demonstrate that quality is free. Similarly, the authors carry out a benchmark to show how the same argument is valid about Toyota’s environmental performance and how Toyota’s concept of Monozukuri can be exploited as proof for the environment is free movement. The paper concludes with an attempt to address the gap between theory and practice in the field of lean and green.

Findings

The starting point for creating a lean and green business system is the understanding that there is no trade-off between lean and green, that lean and green should be brought together in a symbiosis, as Toyota have done with Monozukuri approach. This requires a coherent strategy that is well developed, and well deployed across all levels of business. The bottom line remains that environment is free, but it is not a gift.

Research limitations/implications

The findings presented in the paper are based on arguments resulted from the review of the relevant literature. It is important to obtain feedback from a large sample of businesses regarding lean and green symbiosis to arrive at sound and valid conclusions.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the fields of operations management and sustainability by proposing a change in businesses’ mind-set about sustainability. Rather than seeing environmental protection as a cost, it should be regarded as an opportunity for enhancing economic performance. In doing so, we can seek inspiration from the fields of quality management and the total quality movement.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 May 2021

Mia Ljungblom and Thomas Taro Lennerfors

The purpose of this paper is to reach a deeper understanding of the Lean principle of respect for people (RFP to facilitate Lean implementation in Western organizations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reach a deeper understanding of the Lean principle of respect for people (RFP to facilitate Lean implementation in Western organizations outside Toyota.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an interpretative, hermeneutic approach to understand the RFP concept through a literature study of existing research about Lean implementation, and an inquiry into the underlying meaning of the RFP principle, by studying sources from Toyota and discussions about the RFP principle in Japan.

Findings

RFP is seen as a central principle in Lean implementations, but the failure of RFP is believed to cause Lean implementations to fail. The literature about Lean discusses the RFP principle both as a general positive atmosphere and as focused on developing the work capacity of employees. By studying the sources from Toyota, it could be understood that RFP is based on ought-respect. The authors also find that RFP is related to takumi, a perfected form of craftsmanship. The authors translate the concept to English by tying it to the recent literature about craft to develop RFP as RFC – respect for craftsmanship.

Research limitations/implications

As this is a conceptual paper, it is difficult to translate the findings into a tool for companies and organizations to use. However, that is the point of the paper: that the most important ideas are not translatable into tools.

Practical implications

It is necessary in Lean implementations to connect people’s work to craftsmanship. Through a discussion of craftsmanship before Lean implementations, it might be possible to nurture an understanding of the underlying values of Lean.

Originality/value

The authors have not found any papers that propose takumi as the base of the RFP principle, nor as a foundational concept at Toyota. It is necessary to understand the concept of takumi, as perfection in craft, to understand the RFP principle.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Craig Henry

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The Japanese are renowned as remarkable technological innovators. There's a Japanese word that reflects this prowess – monozukuri, the art of making things. It's often reflected in the approach to marketing which is taken by many Japanese companies, and it has applied in the past to Nissan.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Wayne G. Macpherson, James C Lockhart, Heather Kavan and Anthony L. Iaquinto

The purpose of this paper is to develop a definitive and insightful working definition of kaizen for practitioners and academics in the West through which they may better…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a definitive and insightful working definition of kaizen for practitioners and academics in the West through which they may better understand the kaizen phenomenon and its intangible but critical underpinning philosophy.

Design/methodology/approach

A phenomenological study of the utility of kaizen within in the bounds of active kaizen environments in name Japanese industrial organisations was conducted over a three-year period in Japan. The research explored how Japanese workers acknowledge, exercise, identify and diffuse kaizen in a sustainable manner.

Findings

Kaizen is found to be a broad philosophical approach to work that serves different purposes for different members of the organisation, where no universal definition appears to exist yet differing ideologies are tolerated. Kaizen in Japan has a considerably deep meaning: it channels worker creativity and expressions of individuality into bounded environments, and creates an energy that drives a shared state of mind among employees to achieve proactive changes and innovation in the workplace.

Originality/value

This paper competently bridges the Japanese-Anglosphere cultural divide in social and business contexts. It contributes to the development of practitioner understanding of the utility of kaizen in Japan through unhindered cross-cultural research methodology, enabled by researcher competency and fluency in Japanese language and culture.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Shinichi Hirota, Katsuyuki Kubo, Hideaki Miyajima, Paul Hong and Young Won Park

This study sets out to explore questions such as: “Does mission statement matter? If so, in what ways?” Using data on mission statements of 128 large Japanese firms, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study sets out to explore questions such as: “Does mission statement matter? If so, in what ways?” Using data on mission statements of 128 large Japanese firms, the paper aims to show that corporate mission has a significant impact on corporate policies that determine employment, board, and financial structures.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides evidence that strong‐mission firms are more likely to retain incumbent employees, promote managers from within firms, and have less debt and a higher percentage of interlocking shareholdings than weak‐mission firms.

Findings

The evidence supports the view that strong‐mission firms value their organizational capital and thus tend to adopt policies to preserve it. It also confirms that corporate mission and its embedded policies contribute to better corporate performance. The paper suggests that the effect of explicit corporate mission and its implementation has practical impacts in corporate policies and business outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is based on firms from Japan. The criteria used to discriminate between strong mission and weak mission firms need further refinement with more rigorous sub‐dimensions. In the Japanese context the percentage of inside directors is an important indication of internally promoted managers – one might argue that a measure of external pressures (e.g. law, codes, investors, etc.) might be a better one. The small number of cases and the richness of statements need a richer qualitative analysis in the future.

Practical implications

The empirical results provide helpful insight on the organizational behavior of Japanese firms during the long economic downturn from the 1990s to 2000s in Japan and an insight on what to do in view of the challenges facing Japanese firms.

Originality/value

The paper presents a model that clarifies the role of mission statement. The extensive literature review includes a diverse set of papers on the role of mission statement. The empirical results suggest how strong Japanese corporate mission, expressed in mission statements, might have impact on corporate outcomes through the formation and utilization of Monozukuri.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2011

Fazleena Badurdeen, Ken Wijekoon and Phillip Marksberry

True lean transformation has proved notoriously difficult for non‐Toyota companies. One hypothesis is excessive focus on tools/techniques without building the necessary…

Abstract

Purpose

True lean transformation has proved notoriously difficult for non‐Toyota companies. One hypothesis is excessive focus on tools/techniques without building the necessary organizational culture. However, empirical evidence is not available to confirm (or refute) this hypothesis. The complex question of the relationship between an organization's culture and its ability to implement lean is a long‐term effort. As a first step, the purpose of this paper is to offer the results of a survey conducted to discover the relative (in)consistency of lean cultures in terms of values held explicitly.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey tool was developed to compare what employees of lean (or attempting to be lean) organizations say explicitly about what their culture values. The Toyota Way, considered by Toyota as guiding its values, was used as the basis to develop the survey which was administered to individuals in several different organizations.

Findings

A higher degree of lean implementation in a company was assumed to show more consistent organizational values (in explicit form). However, the responses varied even from the company considered a leader in lean implementation. Though not conclusive, these preliminary findings suggest that the relationship between cultural type, explicit values and successful lean practice should be examined further.

Originality/value

No empirical studies have investigated the role of culture in success with lean transformations. This paper presents an initial attempt at addressing that issue with a tool developed to evaluate what an organization's culture says its values are, in terms of what is important for lean implementation.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Jusuke J.J. Ikegami, Martha Maznevski and Masataka Ota

This paper challenges the assumption in cross-cultural research of liability of foreignness (LOF). The literature review demonstrates that LOF comes from pressures for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper challenges the assumption in cross-cultural research of liability of foreignness (LOF). The literature review demonstrates that LOF comes from pressures for isomorphism, while asset of foreignness (AOF) can derive from the active process of breaking norms. The purpose of this paper is to explore how leaders can initiate and sustain AOF.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the case of the Nissan revival led by Carlos Ghosn and the impact in the years after. The analysis is based on the authors’ interviews and discussions with Ghosn and senior leaders at Nissan and Renault, complemented with published interviews and assessments.

Findings

Analysis confirmed the potential for AOF, and further uncovered four patterns of behavior that created AOF virtuous cycles among Nissan leaders: initiating trust, shaping identity, anchoring and transcending common language, and acting positively on ignorance. The virtuous cycles were sustainable and transformed into new global strategic perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes a research model identifying moderators between foreignness and performance. Generalizability is limited by the focus on a single case study.

Practical implications

The four sets of behaviors can serve as guides to action for leaders when working in foreign contexts.

Originality/value

This research goes beneath the surface of a famous example to analyze leadership dynamics over time, and provides insight on positive aspects of foreignness.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Foreign leaders and leaders of foreign companies can take an active role in deciding whether foreignness will become a liability or an asset within their learning culture.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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