A Framework for the Development of a Model for Successful, Sustained Lean Implementation and Improvement

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Sisson, Julie
Lean; manufacturing; toyota production system; case study; continuous improvement
thesis / dissertation description
Lean is a business philosophy focused on shortening lead times by removing waste and concentrating on value-added processes. When implemented successfully, it not only allows for cost reduction while improving quality, but it can also position a company to achieve tremendous growth. The problem is that though many companies are attempting to implement lean, it is estimated that only 2-3% are achieving the desired level of success. The purpose of this research is to identify the key interrelated components of successful lean transformation. To this end, a thorough literature review was conducted and the findings indicate six key constructs that can act as enablers or inhibitors to implementing and sustaining lean. A theoretical framework was developed that integrates these constructs and develops research propositions for each. A multiple-case study analysis then was used to test the framework on four companies that have achieved successful, sustained results from their lean implementation in order to validate the model. The resulting model provides companies who are planning to implement lean with tangible actions that can be taken to make their lean transformations more successful.