Title: Senior managers' perspectives on lean implementation

Authors: Jonas Renström; Camilla Niss

Addresses: Center for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden; School of Technology and Health, The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden ' Center for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden

Abstract: Many lean implementations fail; previous research suggests an important reason is that senior managers are unable to support the implementation. We investigate this problem by exploring senior managers' perspectives on lean implementation, aiming to identify possible obstacles to their support of implementation processes. The paper is based on an explorative case study at a global manufacturing company implementing lean. Interviews were performed with senior managers at the top two hierarchical levels, the president and area presidents. The analysis revealed four main obstacles: 1) competence development needs of senior management were not addressed; 2) the lean development initiative was not connected to company strategy; 3) key players within the organisation were initially not involved or tasked; 4) the initiative was not system wide. The results stress the importance of initial competence evaluation and development of senior management in lean development.

Keywords: change management; organisational development; competence evaluation; strategy; lean management; lean implementation; senior managers; senior management; organisational change; manufacturing industry; key players; system wide initiatives.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLER.2015.076658

International Journal of Lean Enterprise Research, 2015 Vol.1 No.4, pp.317 - 328

Available online: 19 May 2016 *

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