Evaluation and Comparison of Lean Manufacturing Practices in Britain and France: A Case Study of a Printing Solutions Organisation

Dilek Demirbas, Laura Holleville, David Bennett

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Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this research is to investigate and analyse the implementation of Lean philosophy in two production plants SMEs –one in Britain and one in France- both belonging to the same global American printing solutions and technology services organısation. The aim of the study is to analyse the impact of lean practices on employees and on the organisation itself as well as the critical factors for a successful implementation. Design/methodology/approach: Using a case study approach, the collection of primary data for this dissertation consisted of semi-structured face-to-face interviews – seven in Britain and five in France - as well as observations in both SMEs during the visits on-site. Findings; The evaluation of Lean practices in both companies revealed significant similarities concerning the principal Lean practices implemented and a general agreement about the importance of Lean in the current work place. On the other hand, the study indicated differences in terms of cultural issues and internal barriers for a successful Lean adoption. Research Limitations/Implications: The samples between both companies were different in terms of job position distribution. This study provides recommendations beneficial to other organisations adopting Lean. Originality/Value: The novelty of this study stems from the exploration of workers’ points of view in relation to Lean practices, their implementation and their value in the work environment. Although the investigation undertaken in this research is based on only two SMEs with different backgrounds, this study would recommend how SMEs can develop and improve their Lean practices in the working place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-150
Number of pages57
JournalJournal of Economy Culture and Society
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018

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