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Human Lean: Combining Sense of Coherence and Lean to achieve productivity and health
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Ergonomics.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to identify barriers to and supportive factors for Lean implementation and to investigate how application of the Sense of Coherence (SOC) theory combined with Lean philosophy may affect health and productivity. The thesis is based on five studies. The first study compared similarities and divergences in barriers to Lean described in interviews by informants in manufacturing and health care. The second study was a case study at a manufacturing firm. Interviews with managers implementing Lean revealed how their views on Lean influenced the implementation. In the third study, a literature analysis was used to conceptualize the concepts and roles of leadership and management in regard to Lean. In the fourth study it was explored how productivity, quality, work attendance and numbers of rehabilitation cases were influenced after implementation of sense of coherence theory based managerial behavior at three workplaces. The fifth study examined how the implementation of a new leadership approach based on the SOC theory combined with Lean philosophy relate to productivity, quality and levels of sick leave at a steel-producing company. The results from the studies show that the perceived difficulties and barriers are much the same in manufacturing and health care. Another finding was that managers' views on Lean influence the implementation but also that learning during the implementation process can alter their views. A third finding is that lean management is a matter of dualism, consisting of two complementary systems of action, management and leadership, which are related to the two basic principles of Lean, continuous improvement and respect for people. After application of the SOC theory combined with Lean as a basis for the managerial approach, there were improvements in productivity, quality, attendance at work and reduced levels of sick leave at all four studied workplaces, as well as fewer cases of rehabilitation at three workplaces. Several conclusions can be drawn. One is that Lean consultants with a limited approach to Lean, lack of a common organization-wide definition of Lean, and lack of supportive leadership are barriers to Lean implementation. Lean consultants with deep knowledge and capability to teach others Lean is a supportive factor. An organization-wide definition of Lean through an organization-specific Lean philosophy is another supportive factor. Managers that use both leadership and management to support people is a supportive factor to Lean. The study also shows that an application of SOC theory combined with Lean may be positively associated with health and productivity improvements. The overall conclusion is that people’s way of thinking and acting is the nucleus in Lean. To emphasize the importance of people, I suggest to call the approach of combining SOC and Lean “Human Lean.”

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling är att identifiera hinder och stödjande faktorer för implementering av Lean och undersöka hur tillämpning av hälsoteorin Känsla av sammanhang (Kasam) kombinerad med Lean-filosofi påverkar hälsa och produktivitet. Avhandlingen baseras på fem studier. I den första studien studeras likheter och skillnader i beskrivna hinder från intervjuer av informanter verksamma i tillverkande industri och vårdsektorn. Den andra studien genomfördes i tillverkande industri. Genom intervjuer med chefer undersöktes hur deras syn på Lean påverkat implementeringen av Lean. I den tredje av studien studerades litteratur om Lean som bas för konceptualisering av ledarskap och management i relation till Lean. I den fjärde studien undersöktes hur produktivitet, kvalitet, närvaro på jobbet och antalet rehabiliteringsfall påverkades efter implementering av kasam orienterat ledarskap på tre arbetsplatser. I den femte studien undersöktes hur produktivitet, kvalitet och sjukskrivningar påverkats efter implementering av ett nytt ledarskapskoncept baserat på Kasam i kombination med Lean-filosofi i ett stålföretag. Resultaten visar att svårigheter och hinder beskrivs mycket lika i tillverkande industri och vårdsektorn. Ett annat resultat var att chefers syn på Lean påverkar implementationen, men också att denna syn kan förändras genom det lärande som sker under implementeringen. Ett tredje resultat var att ledarskap i Lean bör vara dualistisk. I praktiken behövs både management och ledarskap då dessa är komplementära och relaterar till de två huvudprinciperna i Lean, ständiga förbättringar och respekt för människan. Produktivitet, kvalitet och närvaro ökade samtidigt som sjukskrivningar minskade vid de fyra arbetsplatser som undersöktes. På de tre arbetsplatser där rehab-fall följdes upp konstaterades en minskning av antalet fall. En slutsats är att Leankonsulter med verktygsorienterad syn på Lean, brist på en organisationsövergripande definition av Lean och brist på stödjande ledarskap är tre faktorer som försvårar implementation av Lean. Konsulter med djup kunskap och förmåga att lära andra identifierades som stödjande faktorer vid implementering av Lean. En gemensam organisationsövergripande definition av Lean är också en stödjande faktor, liksom att chefer att praktiserar både management och ledarskap vid implementering av Lean. Studierna indikerar att kombinationen av Kasam och Lean kan ge positiva resultat på både hälsa och produktivitet. En övergripande slutsats är att människors sätt att tänka och handla är kärnan i Lean. För att betona människans betydelse i Lean, föreslår avhandlingen att kombinationen av kasam och Lean benämns Human Lean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2020. , p. 70
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2020:4
Keywords [en]
barriers, health promotion, implementation, Lean, leadership, management, organizational change, productivity, sense of coherence, supportive factors
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-266250ISBN: 978-91-7873-410-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-266250DiVA, id: diva2:1382547
Public defence
2020-01-31, Sal T2, Hälsovägen 11C, Flemingsberg, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 2020-01-15

Available from: 2020-01-15 Created: 2020-01-03 Last updated: 2020-01-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Experienced Barriers to Lean in Swedish Manufacturing and Health Care
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experienced Barriers to Lean in Swedish Manufacturing and Health Care
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
Lean, implementation, barriers, comparison, development, health care, manufacturing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136439 (URN)
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved
2. From Fantasy to Reality: Learning From Seven Years of Lean Implementation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Fantasy to Reality: Learning From Seven Years of Lean Implementation
2013 (English)In: Journal of US-China Public Administration, ISSN 1548-6591, E-ISSN 1935-9691, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 368-378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to address the question of how manager’s views on Lean in terms of “toolbox Lean” or “Lean thinking” impact their view of the implementation process. This paper is based on a case study at a globally established Swedish manufacturing company. Findings show that managers’ definitions of Lean have evolved from a “toolbox” view toward more of a “Lean thinking” view during the implementation process, due to the learning taking place in the organization during the implementation. As the understanding of Lean develops, new and unforeseen deviations or needs may be identified. This in turn affects the managers’ views on the implementation process and perceived needs in regard to Lean development. The study also shows that fragmented development of an organization, such as production units developing individually without support from middle management or human resources (HR) may impede Lean development efforts. Lean implementation and development requiresystem wide change in order to be sustainable, which primarily concerns the management system and management approach but also all support functions within an organization. The use of external consultants in selected parts of an organization, thereby by-passing management levels and support functions may generate conflicting priorities and tension within an organization. The paper contributes to a deeper understanding regarding the learning process related to Lean implementations and to the aspects of people development and leadership required for sustainable Lean development.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136442 (URN)
Note

QC 20131205

Available from: 2013-09-25 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved
3. Lean leadership: A matter of dualism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lean leadership: A matter of dualism
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, ISSN 1465-6612, E-ISSN 1741-5160, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 242-253Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On the basis of previous literature, this study takes a snowball approach to identify people influential on the topics through their writings. The aim was to conceptualise leadership and management in regard to lean, thus increasing understanding of the roles of leadership and management in lean development. The findings showed that leadership and management are two different but complementary action systems, similar to the duality of Toyota's two foundational principles: respect for people and continuous improvement. Differentiating between leadership and management is important in order to meet organisational needs during a lean implementation; each has complementary functions. Practical implications include the need to further train managers in leadership and to work within organisational culture to influence on-the-job behaviour. This lack of leadership competence may be one reason companies tend to address lean as a toolbox rather than an enterprise-wide system that covers all its operations and entails cultural and behaviour standards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2014
Keywords
Competence, Complementary, Development, Duality, Enterprise-wide system, Human resources, Leadership, Lean, Management, On-the-job behaviour, Organisational culture, Organisational effectiveness, Snowball approach, Toyota way
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175116 (URN)10.1504/IJHRDM.2014.069355 (DOI)2-s2.0-84929619819 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20151214

Available from: 2015-12-14 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved
4. Application of a sense of coherence-based leadership for productivity and health at Scania
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Application of a sense of coherence-based leadership for productivity and health at Scania
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, ISSN 2045-7804, E-ISSN 2045-7812, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 179-194Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose was to explore if sense of coherence (SOC) theory can be used in human factors ergonomics (HFE) practice as a leadership approach to decrease the rate of sick leave and rehabilitation cases and increase work attendance among assembly personnel without impeding productivity. Via three studies carried out at the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania, we investigated the company’s key performance indicators and documented meetings with managers during the intervention. The results show that SOC can be used in HFE practice and that productivity, quality and attendance at work increased, while rehabilitation cases decreased. Our conclusion is that a health promotion approach among managers is essential in a lean organisation that aims to reduce waste in the company and optimise human capability and thereby productivity. SOC theory can support the creation of workplaces that are high performing and healthy, starting with concerns for the people creating the output.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., 2019
Keywords
Health promotion, Job satisfaction, Leadership, Lean, Manufacturing, Meaningfulness, Performance, Productivity, Sense of coherence, SOC, Sweden, Workplace
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-262425 (URN)10.1504/IJHFE.2019.102306 (DOI)2-s2.0-85072387263 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20191022

Available from: 2019-10-22 Created: 2019-10-22 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved
5. Sense of coherence and Lean-based leadership and alterations in sick leave and production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sense of coherence and Lean-based leadership and alterations in sick leave and production
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: There is a need for more knowledge about leadership interventions and their implications for production and sick leave.

OBJECTIVE : The purpose of this study was to examine how productivity and rate of sick leave changed at a stainless wire manufacturing unit after implementing a new leadership approach based on Sense of Coherence theory (SOC) and Lean philosophy.

METHODS: In this case study, productivity, quality and sick leave were evaluated through the company’s key performance indicators. The follow-up was also based on narrative descriptions from the management team in the course of four meetings during the intervention. Notes were taken and analyzed regarding perceived outcomes of the intervention.

RESULTS: The results showed that productivity per worker increased, as did the amount of yearly production that met the quality specifications. The amount of sick leave decreased during the period of the intervention compared to before the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: A leadership approach based on SOC combined with Lean philosophy can positively influence productivity and decrease the rate of sick leave.

Keywords
implementation, health, productivity, attendance
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-266490 (URN)
Note

QC 20200115

Available from: 2020-01-15 Created: 2020-01-15 Last updated: 2020-01-15Bibliographically approved

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