Implementing lean: UK culture and systems change

Eric Johansen, Geoff Porter, David Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


For the IGLC 12 Conference the authors reported the results of implementing Last PlannerTM methods with a large UK contracting company. The projects studied demonstrated some success but also some cultural, organizational and systemic barriers to its effective implementation. Alarcon and Conte’s White Paper for the IGLC11 conference discussed these issues and invited researchers to consider them. In response, the authors have reflected upon and critically re-analysed the research as a means to refocus their future work in implementing Lean Construction methods in UK construction. Based on a review of the literature on construction culture we have identified theoretical factors that, together with Alarcon and Conte's list of critical organizational elements, provide a framework against which the results of the research have been considered. We conclude that the implementation of Last Planner was hindered by not fully considering cultural, organizational and systemic problems and by failing to recognize how deepseated these problems could be. We intend, in future projects, to take a more considered, and wider approach to Lean Construction (possibly using the LCI’s Lean Project Delivery System) and to focus our attention upon construction ventures where efforts at culture change have already started - in particular, where strategic partnering arrangements are in place.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
EventThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, - Helsingor, Denmark
Duration: 1 Aug 2004 → …


ConferenceThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction,
Period1/08/04 → …
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