Renaissance of Lean Concept through Generation Y

Pschibilla, Heidi (2024) Renaissance of Lean Concept through Generation Y. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/7V8DY22B

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Lean has been one of the most influential concepts since the early 1990s. It revolutionised the way how industries produce consumer products by adapting a new operational structure and way of working. However, there is a growing concern that lean implementation fails due to the heavy focus or cherry-picking of individual methods without a deeper understanding of underlying intention by neglecting to establish the lean principles and human aspects. There has also been little attention given to how Generation Y (Gen Y) embraces lean. The debate over Gen Y characteristics, the size of this group in relation to previous generations, and the business challenges today were the contributing inputs to this study. That means companies need to rethink their current understanding of work conditions. Based on this gap, this study aims to explore how lean principles and methods can be transformed to meet the needs of Gen Y. A qualitative research approach within an interventionist paradigm was conducted. The main study uses action research as a methodology design to understand whether lean can be deployed effectively to Gen Y as a principle and method-based approach by focusing on the human elements of lean. Within the action research cycles, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, focus group sessions, and diaries were applied across one department with nine Gen Y employees. This was conducted in order to seek insight into their experience with lean. The participants’ responses were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. The study's first key finding is a strong probability that lean, as it is deployed today, will be embraced by Gen Y. The second key finding relates to the enhancements that should be made in regard to how lean is deployed today to ensure an even greater backing of Gen Y. This study suggests paying equal attention to principles, methods, and human aspects. It further contends to increase transparency and communication, mindfulness, and technology within the lean principles and methods. It further reveals that Gen Y should be included in their lean implementation by being engaged, empowered, participative, and reflective. The final key finding is the conceptualised lean and Gen Y model to achieve a sustained positive change in the future lean implementation and an extension to Gen Y work practice. In summary, this study offers a rich, deep insight and knowledge for lean practitioners, managers, PhD H Pschibilla.doc iv and academia on how lean can be effective for Gen Y to attain greater generational engagement viewed through the lens of Gen Y. The study sets out various contributions. The first contribution is a combined understanding of lean and generational studies. The second contribution shows theoretical and empirical evidence to which extent lean principles and methods and their embedded human aspects are aligned with Gen Y's work view. The third contribution relates to the extent to which lean changes need to occur to be embraced by Gen Y in the future by providing a model. Finally, on a methodological level, the study has demonstrated how to apply action research and that lean research can benefit from it. On a practical level, the research approach has shown value in how to implement lean. In conclusion, the study provides a holistic view of various levels that impact how to apply lean in the future, providing a framework of specific modification to rethink the future application of lean.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lean; Lean principles; Lean methods; Human aspects; Generation Y; Work practice; Action research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Kamila Niekoraniec
Date Deposited: 23 May 2024 11:31
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2024 14:37

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