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Lean principles in industrialized housing production: the need for a cultural change
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
2008 (English)In: Lean Construction Journal, ISSN 1555-1369, E-ISSN 1555-1369, 20-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The deep-rooted project culture in construction, e.g. including the one-of-a-kindness of the project, the production set up, the construction site and the temporary organization, is stated to be a hindrance when applying lean principles. However, the biggest challenge to achieving a long-term benefit of lean application in industrialized housing production (80 % of the work in a factory environment) is here argued to be to approach a lean culture. The aim of this paper is therefore to deepen the understanding of how to approach a lean culture in industrialized housing production. A production questionnaire shows that industrialized housing production displays a projectbased culture similar to that found in on-site construction with low motivation for, e.g., error-proofing and continuous improvement. Results from the questionnaire and a case study show that workers rather fix problems as they arise ahead of focusing on errorproofing and continuous improvement. Lean Construction research has traditionally (up to latest years) focused on a top-down (top-management initiated project performance) tool approach to improve construction projects. However, theoretical and empirical proofs show that error-proofing and continuous improvement is statistically connected to worker motivation, and that workers follow standardized routines if they are visual and clear to workers. It is also shown that workers do not take own responsibility to obtain standardization in work and maintenance of equipment and tools. Therefore a simultaneous top-down/bottom-up (person focused) approach to achieve a lean culture in industrialized housing production is proposed. Generally, the study also points to more research to obtain a deeper understanding of lean culture and cultural change in construction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. 20-33 p.
Research subject
Timber Structures
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-13115Local ID: c4a5a560-9926-11dd-bc49-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:986066
Validerad; 2008; 20081013 (lms)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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