Cultural Aspects when Implementing Lean Production and Lean Product Development – Experiences from a Swedish Perspective

Promporn Wangwacharakul, Martina Berglund, Ulrika Harlin, Per Gullander

Abstract


Lean principles and methods, originating in a Japanese cultural context, have spread to a large number of companies throughout the world. The aim of this case study research is to identify and compare national cultural aspects that influence Lean Production and Lean Product Development implementation in Swedish companies. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews and an industrial workshop with Swedish Lean practitioners. The study shows that some sub-areas in Lean, such as value definition, control systems, leadership, team development, knowledge management, and strategies, are highly dependent on contextual factors related to human, cultural and organizational aspects. These are related to the national culture and should be considered to a higher extent for successful sustainable implementation of Lean in different cultural contexts. As for implementing Lean in Sweden, national cultural characteristics, such as individualism, autonomy and supportive management style fit well with Lean thinking.


Keywords


National cultural characteristics; organizational development; case study

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12776/qip.v18i1.321

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Copyright (c) 2014 Promporn Wangwacharakul, Martina Berglund, Ulrika Harlin, Per Gullander

ISSN 1335-1745 (print)
ISSN 1338-984X (online)
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