Attitude towards Lean: Change drivers impact on employees' attitude in the early stage of lean implementation: Case study
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Problem – Lean allows companies becoming more efficient and, hence, more competitive in the rapidly changing business environment. However, high rate of failures is observed when implementing lean. For lean implementation, commitment among employees and leaders is vital. Meanwhile, commitment relies on attitudes formed at early stages of change process. Thus, it is important to be able to influence attitude formation and change early in the process. Even though there are numerous change drivers, their effect on attitudes is not clear neither in lean implementation nor in organizational change theories.
Purpose – Explore the chosen change drivers’ effect on employees’ attitudes towards lean initiative during the early stage of lean implementation process.
Research design/methodology – Inductively based approach was used for investigating the case of a small-parts trading company’s warehouse where lean implementation was at the early stage. Empirical data was collected through a mix of methods; observations, focus group session and questionnaires. Accepted change vision, Change related training and Change related participation were those applied and analysed change drivers. After the collected data was aligned with the theoretical model, it was analysed inductively.
Conclusions – At the early stage of change various change drivers affect attitude in different ways, and it could have both negative and positive influence. Change related training seems to have greatest impact on the affective component of attitude, while change related participation showed more connection to the cognitive component. Accepted change vision will affect the behavioural component mostly. The first two change drivers were identified as supporting change vision to be accepted in the early stage of lean implementation process. Attitude towards change will be re-evaluated when new knowledge about the upcoming change is provided. On the whole, organizational context predetermines strength and valence of implemented change drivers.
Practical implications – While implementing lean and using change drivers managers need to understand the existing organizational context. Only then they can optimize and allocate resources on the most efficient change drivers, which will bring up the most positive attitude. It is also needed to be aware of the concerns that change initiative may bring to employees minds to be able to eliminate them.
Research limitations/implications – The findings need more investigation to be able to generalize them due to the limitations of a single case study as research strategy. Moreover, it is possible that the used change drivers could have affected the attitude in another way, if they were combined with others and were implemented by leaders themselves. More focus on the cross-influence processes between change drivers is needed to understand how different sets of change drivers could match different organizational contexts.
Key words – Lean implementation, Organizational change, Change drivers, Attitude
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 91 p.
lean, organizational change, early stage, attitude, change drivers
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-22554OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-22554DiVA: diva2:628839
Subject / course
2013-05-30, Halmstad, 08:15 (English)
Hoveskog, Maya, UniversitetslektorWiktor, Ingemar, Universitetslektor Organisation
Danilovic, Mike, Professor Industriell organisation