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The Soft Side of   LEAN: Sometimes hard   issues require soft solutions
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

Forskning har visat att den gemensamma nämnaren i   misslyckade LEAN initiativ är att den mjukasidan (organisationskultur)   försummas i LEAN initiativ, dvs att man, i sin LEAN implementering, har helt   eller delvis utelämnat arbetet med organisationskultur och missat dess   effekter på förbättringsarbetet. För att ett LEAN initiativ ska lyckas, krävs   att man jobba med LEAN:s hårda sidor (verktyg och metoder) balanserad med   LEAN:s mjuka delar (organisationskultur). I komplement till dem ovannämnda   kriterier, krävs balanserat ledarskap.

LEAN skapades av Toyota som ett sätt att   kvalitetssäkra sin biltillverknings processer. Bakom detta arbetssätt fanns   en filosofi, eller rättare sagt, en organisationskultur som genomsyrade hela   organisationen. Syftet med detta arbete var att fastställa huruvida eller   inte en LEAN initiativ kan vara framgångsrik, utan att jobba med både den   hårda och mjuka sidan av LEAN. Genom en fallstudie, valdes och mättes 2st   LEAN (kultur) dimensioner (Philosophy och Problem Solving), för att utforska   relationen mellan LEAN dimensionerna och den organisationens uppskattad   mogenhet av LEAN implementeringen. Vidare visade studien att dem ledarroller   och egenskaper som behövs för att jobba med LEAN:s mjuka sidor, finns hos den   transformativa ledaren och därför är den ledarskapsstilen mest lämpad att   leda en LEAN implementering.

Studien genomfördes med hjälp av både en enkät (33   frågor) och komplimenterande fördjupad intervjuer till Value Stream Board   medlemmar, hos den valda organisationen. Enkäten baserades på frågor från   GLOBE forskningen, som utarbetade en enkäten för (organisation) kulturstudie   (House et al., 2004). Utöver detta gjordes litteraturstudier om transformativt   ledarskap i förhållande till LEAN implementering och organisationskultur.

Studien visade att LEAN implementeringen, hos den   valda organisationen, inte var helt effektiv/mogen, i relation till dem två   valda LEAN kulturdimensioner (Philosophy och Problem Solving). Problem   Solving snittade endast 51% och trots att Philosophy snittade högre, fanns det   tecken på att den inte hade helt genomsyrat organisationen. Eftersom det   finns en del forskning inom ämnet organisationskultur och LEAN, finns mycket forskarstöd   för denna studien. Detta medger att rekommendationer härifrån, gäller såväl fallorganisationen   som allmänt. En sån rekommendation, tex var att uppmuntra ledarna, inom en   LEAN organisation, att vara välmedveten om organisationskultur och hur det påverkar   LEAN arbetet. Vidare rekommenderades, t.ex. Scheins (2010) verktyg för att   förstå, analysera och förvandla en organisationskultur. Ett sånt verktyg   skulle ge ledare en holistisk syn på sina LEAN implementering.

Abstract [en]

Research has   found that the common element in failed LEAN initiatives is that the soft   side (culture) of LEAN implementation was not taken into consideration when   implementing LEAN. For a LEAN implementation to be successful, the hard side   (tools and techniques) and the soft side (organization culture) must work in   balance. Balancing the sides also requires balanced leadership.

When Toyota Car   company created LEAN as a form of quality assurance, they developed the tools   and techniques to ensure the quality of their products. Behind the tools was   a Philosophy or a culture by which the organization was operated, making the   tools and techniques work. This paper set out to establish the extent to   which an organization can be successful with its LEAN implementation without   adapting both the LEAN tools and techniques and the appurtenant LEAN culture   into its own organization. Using a case study, the researcher sought to   measure the maturity/effectiveness of the LEAN implementation of a case   organization by identifying the levels at which two selected LEAN culture   dimensions, Philosophy and Problem Solving, existed within the organization.   The study also explored the role of transformational leadership to determine   its impact on the creating congruence between the LEAN culture and   organizational culture. Data from the case organization was collected using triangulation   method to include a 33- item survey questionnaire adopted from the GLOBE   cultural survey (House et al., 2004) and interviews with members of the Value   Stream Board. Data was also collected via literature studies on the topics.   The results revealed that the case organization’s LEAN implementation was not   fully mature/effective in the selected culture dimensions: Philosophy and   Problem Solving. The Problem-Solving dimension scored an average score of 51%   and while the Philosophy dimension fared better, there were clear indications   that the organization was not fully oriented in this area either. This study   also looked at transformational leadership and how it relates the soft side   and the effectiveness of a LEAN implementation. There are many researches and   studies on the topics organization culture and LEAN, so findings from this   study were well supported making the study applicable to both the case organization   as well as generally. From the study, several recommendations were made to encourage   leaders, both in the case org and in general, to have cultural awareness when   working with LEAN initiatives, within their organizations. Other   recommendations made were on methods/tools available to understand, analyze   and transform an organizational culture, such as the 10 step   “Culture-Deciphering” process, recommended by Schein (2010). This tool, and   others would assist the leader in obtaining a holistic view of their LEAN   implementation and how to make it effective/mature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
Lean, organizational culture, transformational leadership, soft side
Keywords [sv]
Lean, organisationskultur, transformativt ledarskap, mjuka sidan
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33780Local ID: KA-V17-A1-016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-33780DiVA, id: diva2:1218120
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2017-12-04

Available from: 2018-08-30 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-08-30Bibliographically approved

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