Diffusing Lean Implementation & Organisation Cultural Maturity

Brianna Chesworth1, Kerry London2 & Thayaparan Gajendran3

1PhD Research Candidate, School of Architecture & the Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment,, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia, Phone +61 2 4921 5489, Fax +61 2 4921 6913, Brianna.Chesworth@newcastle.edu.au
2Professor, Associate Dean (Research), School of Architecture and Building, Faculty of Science and Technology, Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Vic, 3220, Australia, Phone +61 3 522 78358, kerry.london@deakin.edu.au
3Doctor, Lecturer - Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) School of Architecture & the Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment,, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia, Phone +61 2 4921 5781, Fax +61 2 4921 6913, Thayaparan.Gajedran@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

Human capital is one of the most significant assets of any organisation. Construction industry problems associated with productivity, efficiencies and waste can be linked in some way to human behaviours. The characteristics of human behaviours in construction organisations are ultimately shaped and influenced by the values, beliefs and attitudes of individuals and groups within the organisational environment. Values, beliefs and attitudes provide the foundation of the organisational culture. The implementation of lean strategies as an alternate managerial approach to traditional managerial approaches has offered insights into the nature of human capital and organisational performance. Literature has identified that organisational culture in relation to lean implementation is categorised dichotomously, presented as either a ‗cultural‘ performance of empowerment or exploitation. The discourse in relation to lean culture is thus divided. It is proposed in this paper that lean implementation is an evolutionary process and thus organisations mature as the lean concept is diffused. A necessary part of this maturing process is culture related. A constructivist approach guides the research, proposing the organisational environment to be made up of interconnected multiple realities. This proposition is informed by Rogers‘ theory of diffusion, more specifically the relationships between time, communication and social systems within the organisational environment. A model of lean implementation is proposed which provides the investigative framework to explore how and why the behaviours and attitudes of human capital within the organisation during and after lean implementation mature the culture of the organisation.

Keywords

Constructivism, Cultural maturity, Diffusion theory, Human behaviours, Lean implementation

Files

Reference

Chesworth, B. , London, K. & Gajendran, T. 2010, 'Diffusing Lean Implementation & Organisation Cultural Maturity' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 345-350

Download: BibTeX | RIS Format