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Can Innovation be lean? Lean’s Influence on Innovation
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This master thesis deals with the analysis of Lean’s influence on innovation. The applied theoretical framework combines the Lean theory represented by the seven major Lean practices identified by Olivella et al. (2008) with Kline and Rosenberg’s (1986) chain-linked model of innovation and the classification of innovation types of Cooper (1998). In the present work it was examined how Lean is influencing innovation when it is implemented in an innovation-oriented environment. In order to answer this research question, six expert interviews with CEOs, Executives and Consultants from five different industries were conducted and subjected to a qualitative content analysis. As a result of this examination, it has been shown that Lean may impede as well as complement innovation. On the one hand Lean may complement innovation by freeing up resources and providing an appropriate environment for innovation characterized by a learning character and multi-functional and multi-skilled knowledge workers operating according to scientific methods. On the other hand Lean may impede innovation by reducing slack, risks, and variability, which are arguably important to innovation. Furthermore, it has been shown that the innovation process is influenced negatively most likely at its early stage, and that Lean is rather related to innovation types which are process-oriented. The collected data were found to be fruitful in answering the question of how Lean is influencing innovation. However, questions regarding the innovation process and innovation types could not be answered satisfactorily. Here, further research is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 145 p.
Keyword [en]
Lean Production, Lean Thinking, Lean Startup, Innovation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-2336Local ID: diva2:829605
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2014-06-27 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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