Title: Teaching lean management using experiential methods to improve learning

Authors: Ed Arnheiter

Addresses: Department of Decision Sciences, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University Sacramento, One Capital Mall, Suite 260, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA

Abstract: This paper describes two exercises that are used together within a graduate-level operations management course to enhance learning. The exercises consist of the following components: 1) an in-class service process simulation and value stream mapping exercise; 2) a team-based analysis of a real world service process using principles learned during the in-class simulation. Lean management principles form the basis of the simulation and project and also represent the overarching theme of the course. Students learn to apply lean methods to an actual process, get enthused about applying lean tools in their workplace, and gain experience serving in a business consulting role. To measure the effectiveness of the teaching methods, the proportion of correct responses to four short answer questions testing lean management knowledge were compared across six different sections of the course.

Keywords: operations management education; lean management; experiential teaching methods; service process simulation; learning improvement; higher education; value stream mapping; VSM; business consulting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2014.067560

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2014 Vol.5 No.4, pp.344 - 362

Received: 05 Mar 2014
Accepted: 11 Aug 2014

Published online: 17 Feb 2015 *

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