Implementation of the leadership, people, process and outcome model of Lean using soft systems methodology in triangulation

  • Ifechukwude Kingsley Dibia

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    For decades, Lean has been viewed as an optimisation and process excellence philosophy that sets an organisation on the zenith in its industry through continuous process improvement and customer satisfaction when successfully implemented and sustained. However, attempts by some organisations to implement Lean has been fraught with overwhelming challenges due to the mode of implementation and the lack of understanding of the key drivers of the philosophy. This study investigates how different factors such as leadership, empowerment, motivation and organisational culture influence the successful implementation of Lean philosophy in organisations. The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)in triangulation, an interactive, interpretive and systems based approach has been employed to analyse Lean as a system optimisation philosophy. This philosophy instils a culture of continuous commitment to waste elimination, process efficiency and effectiveness, consistent competency development, product improvement and customer satisfaction.

    This Thesis presents the Lean ‘Leadership, People, Process, Outcome’ (LPPO)implementation model, that is flexible and easily adaptable. This model which shows measurable outcome and a drive for continuous improvement is system based, people driven and customer centred. The Lean LPPO model is theoretically built from existing models and practically tested in the fields through industrial based idiographic study. The model used for Lean implementation identifies committed leadership, competent, empowered and motivated people and an organisational culture of continuous learning and improvement as the driving force of the Lean philosophy. It shows that the success of Lean implementation and its sustenance in an organisation is based more on the social technical aspects and soft systems fabric of the organisation.

    Using results from the industrial based study carried out with the Lean LPPO model within the soft system methodology in Triangulation from April 2010 to June 2011 in seven organisations: one in Europe, five in Nigeria and a cross-continental group; the relationships between the different identified factors were examined. The results revealed that the environment, leadership commitment, organisational culture, human resource competence, empowerment and motivation are directly related to the level of successful outcome from Lean implementation. These factors and the corresponding positive outcome also ensure the sustainability of Lean as a continuous improvement and optimisation philosophy in an organisation.

    Date of AwardJan 2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorHom Dhakal (Supervisor)

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