Through different conceptual initiatives lean construction has entered many construction environments around the world and is now an established and widely recognised approach to the management of construction activities. The adoption of the lean philosophy has taken, and continues to take place, under different social, organisational and structural conditions. These contextual factors are reflected in different issues being emphasised through the local application of lean ideas. A phenomenon illustrated in this paper with examples drawn from Denmark and California. One concern coming out of the case study material is that early lean construction initiatives may become locally institutionalised. Rigid perceptions and practice of lean construction could, arguably, constitute an impediment to future development. Collaboration between academia and practitioners can support local dissemination of insight gained in foreign environments. This may enhance future development on a practical level and hence help actors in the construction process to implement and benefit from current good practice over the longer term.
Application strategies; Culture, Institutionalism; Organisational change