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Chesworth, B, London, K and Gajendran, T (2011) Understanding lean implementation: Perspectives and approaches of an American construction organisation. In: Egbu, C and Lou, E C W (Eds.), Proceedings 27th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2011, Bristol, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 321–30.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: case study; diffusion theory; lean implementation; organisational culture; USA
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-5-2
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2011-0321-0330_Chesworth_London_Gajendran.pdf
Lean, its principles and implementation rationale are characteristically interpreted as a means to reduce waste and increase productivity. Representation of the approach is typically supported by deductive perspectives. Deductive representations of the decision rationale underpinning lean implementation in construction organisations is cause for concern; particularly in understanding culturally the principles guiding lean implementation and the impact on management, contractual relationships and the organisational environment. A qualitative methodological and inductive approach encompassing face-to-face and focus group interviews has been used to explore lean rationale, implementation and practice within a singular in-depth case study. The analysis of the case has identified two further emerging lean perspectives and approaches of lean implementation that assist in addressing cultural neglect within lean theory. The first is the implementation of lean as means to establish efficient, effective and meaningful industry and contracting relationships. The second is the implementation of lean as a means to improve internal organisational and managerial practice. The study highlights the importance and need to understand the lean implementation process within construction organisations culturally rather than a process of tool implementation versus cultural change.