Lean implementation in service organizations with a focus on ethics and leadership

The research is conducted as a doctoral project by Mia Ljungblom

There is a growing pressure on organizations in general to improve in order to be more efficient and successful - in other words to be more productive and cut costs. To do so the organizations adopt different quality concepts and methodologies like Lean.

Lean has more or less successfully been implemented in the Western´s businesses and organizations for the past 25 years and origins from Toyota and their production model Toyota Production system (TPS).  For more than 50 years Toyota have been profitable and have become the largest motor vehicle manufacturer in the world. TPS developed to the Toyota Way 2001 with two principles - Continuous improvement (CI) and Respect for people (RFP) to use in the organization to reduce waste and add value.

Companies around the world boast about the result they have achieved conducting their Lean programs and a hunger for concept and tools to implement Lean has increased the sale of millions of Lean-focused literature. Nevertheless, most of the organizations are failing in the Lean implementation and no company in any industry in the world have attended the same level of consistent operational excellence as Toyota. Studies shows that the implementation result does not meet the initial expectations or do not last very long. In fact, it is argued that less than 10 percent of all lean interventions sustain three years after they are implemented.

In my research, I try to find an understanding of why it is so difficult to succeed with Lean in the West.

Last modified: 2021-09-16