A B S T R A C T
Purpose: The purpose is to compare similarities and divergences in how the concepts of Lean and barriers to Lean are described by key informants at a production unit in a large manufacturing company and two emergency health care units in Sweden.
Design/methodology/approach: Data was collected via semi-structured interviews and analyzed with the constant comparative method (CCM) and Porras and Robertson’s
(1992) change model.
Findings: In both organizations, the view of Lean changed from a toolbox to a human behavior view. Eight barriers were experienced in both organizations. Three barriers
were unique to manufacturing or to health care, respectively. Nine barriers were elements of social factors;five were elements of organizing arrangements.
Research limitations/implications: Only people practically involved and responsible for the implementation at the two organizations participated in the study.
Practical implications: Persons responsible for implementing Lean should consider organizational arrangements and social factors in order to limit barriers to
Originality/value: Most research on Lean has been about successful Lean implementations. This study focuses on how Lean is viewed and what barriers personnel in
manufacturing and health care have experienced. In comparing the barriers to Lean experienced in the two groups, common, archetypical, and unique barriers for manufacturing and health care can be identified, thus contributing to knowledge about barriers to Lean implementation.
2013. Vol. 4, no 2