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Lean practices and the adoption of digital technologies in production
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production. (CLIP)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5541-7725
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8238-034x
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
2021 (English)In: International Journal of Services and Operations Management, ISSN 1744-2370, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 286-304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The use of Lean principles has long enabled the improvement of efficiency and competitiveness in manufacturing firms, but during the last decade, advanced digital and automated solutions have been more in the spotlight. It has been suggested by some authors that Lean and digitalisation are mutually exclusive, although most authors now agree that the two are indeed compatible. It thus seems that the most urgent question is not whether Lean and digital technologies can be combined, but rather how. This paper uses a large-scale survey of manufacturing units in Europe to explore the relationship between three types of Lean production practices and the use of digital technologies in production. The analysis shows that three types of Lean practices – Lean flow, Lean work organisation and Lean human resource management – are strongly associated with firms’ adoption of digital technologies in production by manufacturing firms. Based on the results it is suggested that, as a theoretical explanation, a firm’s experience of Lean may act as an absorptive capacity when adopting digital technologies. A number of practical explanations are also provided, e.g., that systematic improvement efforts are also beneficial when implementing digital technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inderscience , 2021. Vol. 40, no 2, p. 286-304
Keywords [en]
Digitalisation; Lean practices; manufacturing strategy; absorptive capacity; Industry 4.0
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Intelligent Industry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30985DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2021.118260Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85117590227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30985DiVA, id: diva2:1370923
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2021-11-01Bibliographically approved

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von Haartman, RobinBengtsson, LarsNiss, Camilla

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • sv-SE
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Output format
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