Roles of Lean Learners for Successful Lean Implementation in the Construction Industry: a Force-directed Graph

Agana Parameswaran *, K.A.T.O. Ranadewa, Akila Pramodh Rathnasinghe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The proliferation of lean principles in the construction industry is offset by the enduring uncertainty among industry stakeholders regarding their respective roles in lean implementation. This uncertainty is further compounded by the scarcity of empirical investigations in this area. Consequently, this study undertakes the task of bridging this knowledge gap by identifying the critical roles of lean learners and their indispensable contributions to achieving successful lean implementation.

Methodology: A qualitative exploratory approach informed by an interpretivist perspective was adopted. The case study strategy was employed to gather data from three contracting organisations that had implemented lean practices. Empirical data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with fifteen industry experts, complemented by document reviews. To analyse the data, a code-based content analysis approach was employed using NVivo software, while Power BI software was utilised to develop a comprehensive force-directed graph visualisation.

Findings: The research findings substantiated nine lean learners and unveiled a set of seventy-three roles associated with them. The force-directed graph facilitated the identification of lean learners and their connections to the emerging roles. Notably, the graph highlighted the pivotal role played by project managers and internal lean trainers in ensuring the success of lean implementation, surpassing the contributions of other lean learners.

Originality: The implications of the findings extend to industry professionals seeking to establish a robust lean learning framework to expedite lean implementation within the construction sector. This study not only provides a comprehensive definition of lean learners roles but also transcends specific construction types, making it a significant catalyst for global impact.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Early online date16 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2024

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