Soft lean practices and organizational resilience in the service sector

Guilherme Tortorella*, Anupama Prashar, Jiju Antony, Roberto Vassolo, Alejandro Mac Cawley, Rodrigo Peimbert Garcia, Daniel Luiz de Mattos Nascimento

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)



This paper aims to examine the relationship between the implementation of soft lean practices and organizational resilience development in the service sector.


A mixed-methods explanatory design that relied on two sequential and complementary phases was adopted. In the first phase, a quantitative analysis was performed based on data collected from practitioners from service organizations, allowing the identification of the significance of this relationship. In the second phase, the authors used semi-structured interviews with experts to qualitatively assess how this relationship occurs.


Findings indicated that soft lean practices are positively associated with organizational resilience, although the extent of their relationships varies depending on the resilience ability under analysis. Interviews with experts also provided specific details on how such relationships occur, adding insights to the numerical results.


This study provides a deeper understanding of the implications of lean management, specifically concerning the support of soft lean practices to develop organizational resilience. Additionally, the identification of this relationship (and how it occurs) allows service organizations to deploy human-related strategies to promote broader adoption of certain soft lean practices. As socio-cultural changes are usually time-consuming, anticipating these organizational resilience needs may result in competitive advantages in the face of disruptive events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1452
Number of pages29
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number4
Early online date26 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2024

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