Creating value in operations: lean production in the German automotive supplier industry

Stiehl, Anselm (2016) Creating value in operations: lean production in the German automotive supplier industry. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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11224 STIEHL Anselm (2016) Creating value in operations lean production in the German automotive supplier industry. PhD thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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Purpose: The study sets out to examine the potential impact of lean production on the value of a business in the German automotive supplier industry. In the context of competitive challenges such as international competition cost, quality pressure and an ever growing complexity of products and processes, automotive suppliers strive for approaches to implement sustaining operational improvements and thus to contribute to shareholder value. Lean production is a well-known and widespread approach to achieve operational improvement. However, previous research has not provided sufficient analysis of the potential financial impact of lean production, in particular to the value of the business. Design/methodology/approach: The study is a mixed method analysis based on semistructured in-depth expert interviews and real-world cases from the corporate world, reflecting on the implementation of lean production. By using well-established methods such as systematic literature review, content analysis and coding techniques, as well as fresh approaches (in this context a financial simulation model that has not been previously applied) the study provides new insights into the topic. Findings: Subject to a number of presumptions, the study finds that lean production contributes significantly to the value of the business by positively influencing the cash flows of a company. This can happen through the increase of sales and/or productivity and the reduction of inventory. However, the study also shows that it is a real challenge for companies to safeguard the financial benefits achieved by the implementation of lean production. Based on the collected data, the study provides an overview of which obstacles have to be considered and how they can be managed to translate operational improvement into shareholder value. Theoretical implications: The study provides new insights into the potential impact of lean production on the value of the business. It contributes new knowledge by closing a wide gap in previous research that did not deliver a quantified link between operational improvement and the shareholder value concept developed by Rappaport in 1986. This contribution is considered to be relevant since shareholder value is one of the most widespread concepts among researchers and practitioners. The study does not just reveal the chain of impact for different elements of lean production ( e.g. just-in-time) but also quantifies the potential impact on shareholder value. Practical implications: The study does not only provide a contribution to research but also represents a guideline for managers and ( other) lean production practitioners. The findings create transparency about which elements of lean production potentially contribute to the financial success of a company and which elements remain improbable as to the impact. It also reveals for which lean production elements this impact remains unclear or is not very probable. Moreover, it summarizes what obstacles and risks need to be considered during implementation in order to safeguard the potential financial benefits accrued as a consequence of lean production. Originality/value: The study significantly reduces the existing research gap about the impact of lean production on the value of the business. In order to achieve this objective the study applies a previously unused methodological approach, combining expert interviews and real world cases with a financial simulation model (discounted cash flow valuation). The mixed method approach provides some fresh insights into how and to what extent lean production potentially affects financial KPIs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shareholder value; lean production; expert interviews; real world cases; discounted cash flow; operational improvement; operational value creation, value based management; German automotive suppliers; German automotive industry
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Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Gloucestershire Business School
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 11:33
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 13:21

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