A Project-Based View of the Link Between Strategy, Structure and Lean Construction

Antonio N. de Miranda Filho1, Luiz F.M. Heineck2 & Jorge Moreira da Costa3

1Civil Engineer, M.Sc., Ph.D., CEO, Construtora Santo Amaro Ltda., Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, anmirandaf@yahoo.com.br
2Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Senior Professor, Production Engineering Department, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil. freitas8@terra.com.br
3Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal, jmfcosta@fe.up.pt

Abstract

Currently, there is a good understanding that companies do not obtain satisfactory results when lean practices are implemented alone. The benefits can only be realized by making a substantial number of organizational changes, which in turn need to be coherent with the business strategy. However, contextual factors drive companies to adopt different business strategies, organizational structures and bundles of production practices. Consequently, the sequence and content of business development projects aimed to implement and test lean construction practices can vary according to each firm’s internal characteristics and conjunctural needs. This paper argues that lean implementation is not an isolated event, but part of an effort to create a strategy-structure alignment. Moreover, because lean implementation is conducted through different internal projects, it is also argued that projects constitute the link between business strategy, organizational structure and lean processes. A model is proposed to explain the role that projects play in interlinking strategy, structure and processes. In doing so, the authors hope to bring awareness to the bigger changes behind lean implementation and to the challenges of building “finely-tuned” organizations for specific missions.

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Reference

Filho, A.N.D.M. , Heineck, L.F. & Costa, J.M.D. 2011, 'A Project-Based View of the Link Between Strategy, Structure and Lean Construction' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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