Employee resistance to Lean optimisation

Bruce, James (2010) Employee resistance to Lean optimisation. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Lean is a discipline originating from the production line that involves the removal of "waste" to create refined, "lean" processes with activities that create value. Lean is growing in popularity in a range of industries, notably the service sector. However, Lean currently lacks the scope to consider, and subsequently overlooks, complex human and social factors. This study investigates the impact that employee resistance may have on the success of a Lean implementation in service sector enterprise and proposes solutions to combat such resisting forces. Two independent reviews of existing literature of the subjects are necessary to build an understanding of both the Lean methodology and employee resistance to change. In accompaniment to the review of literature, a case-study of a real-world organisation currently undergoing a Lean implementation is studied to investigate a number of social and human issues arising from practicing Lean teachings. Utilising surveys and interviews, the research takes the perspectives of both the workforce experiencing the implementation and the project members driving the change. The insight that the research provides acts as a foundation on which to build ideas and theories and forms the basis for discussion and investigation into ways that issues highlighted from the research can be avoided or remedied. The study proposes recommendations on which to base a standardised framework for Lean implementation in the service industry that considers human and social elements. The impact that resistance, reluctance, and non-participation can have on a Lean programme is immense and thus the elimination of such factors is crucial to ensure benefits of Lean are fully realised. Aspects such as effective communication, transparency, feedback, image and reputation, training, education, and the behaviours of the management are fundamental in ensuring that Lean is successfully implemented in service sector enterprise. Areas for future research identified to improve Lean's success in human-dependent environments are presented to guide fellow researchers wishing to extend the investigation.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Technology > School of Computing
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/823

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