Defining Lean Change—Framing Lean Implementation in Organizational Development

  •  Pearce A. D.    
  •  Pons D. J.    


Problem When lean is adopted in traditional organisations it requires a widespread organisational change and many businesses fail to sustain lean practices. Purpose The purpose of this work was to define lean implementation based on the organisational development (OD) body of knowledge. Approach – The literature in lean and organisational change was reviewed and amalgamated to develop a novel conceptual framework. Findings – Lean implementation begins with a planned changed that is episodic. However, the ultimate goal is to develop a learning organisation where change is continuous and emergent from all levels. Respect for people, everyone in the organisations contribution, is considered key to successful implementation of lean. Implications– Practitioners should not focus on isolated improvements, but foster change from within for a sustained transformation to become a lean learning organisation. Originality - This paper provides new insights into lean implementation and its transformative effect on the organisation. A novel conceptual model is presented that frames lean transformation within the organisational development literature.

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