Sustaining lean

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Sustaining lean

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Titel: Sustaining lean
Strategies for dealing with organizational paradoxes
Forfatter: Maalouf, Malek
Resume: Within a dynamic and changing world business order, the management of tensions and paradoxes affect the long term adaptability of the organization. The extant literature recommends that, by adopting the paradoxical perspective through the alternation of two opposing strategies for dealing with paradoxes – acceptance and resolution - companies are more likely to achieve transformation and change. As for lean sustainability, it is argued that the adoption of the paradoxical perspective can facilitate the interactions between lean and the physical, social and psychological structures of the company, which creates the necessary energy for change within the social system that facilitates second order learning and the shift in the mental models of the individuals involved in the lean initiative. Through the identification of the paradoxes emerging during lean implementation in three case companies and mapping the strategies used for dealing with these paradoxes, this thesis contributes to lean sustainability - theory and practice - in two ways. First, this study claims that, by adopting the paradoxical perspective, companies are more likely to succeed in sustaining lean. The main argument is that, in addition to the resolution of the paradoxes which is the main focus of the rational approach, the paradoxical perspective takes into consideration the acceptance of the paradoxical tensions which entails that paradox is also seen as an opportunity for learning and for the generation of creative insights. Second, this study concludes that the process of alternation between the acceptance and resolution of lean paradoxes is more likely to be effective if it is intermediated by the reframing of the link between the two opposing poles of the paradox. Thus, reframing becomes an indicator for shifting between acceptance and resolution strategies. It is implicit in this argument that if managers move from acceptance strategy to a resolution strategy without achieving the reframing of the relation between the two opposing poles of the paradox, then attempts for sustaining lean will be restricted.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8816
Dato: 2013-12-02

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