The Interdependency of Lean Implementation and Organization Development

by Joshua C Scoggin

Institution: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Year: 2017
Keywords: Organization theory; Business education; Organizational behavior
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2155276
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10263384


Lean manufacturing was first introduced in the United States in Womacks 1990 book, The machine that changed the world. This 10-year study was published in response to an increase in global manufacturing competition and the demand for American manufacturing companies to increase efficiency and quality while removing process wastes as seen in sustainable continuous improvement environments. Despite widespread interest and research supporting the obstacles senior managers face when implementing lean processes, there is little understanding of how organization development (OD) and change theories relate directly to lean implementation. This qualitative case study mapped out key organizational players conceptions of lean manufacturing and how they implemented the lean management system into an organization by comparing their mental models to OD change management models and Lean management models. The researcher interviewed and observed senior managers and production employees involved with implementing lean management system within one manufacturing organization. The primary purpose was to identify if and how senior managers, lean consultants, and other designated change agents inherent mental models align with existing OD theories and determine if an understanding in organizational development (OD) theory is necessary for the success of lean implementation. Data collected from interviews, production documentation review, and personal observations revealed senior management did not fully understand OD principles and as a result the lean implementation was short lived. These findings will help future organizations who choose to pursue such implementations to understand the importance of OD and change models prior to executing a lean cultural transformation.