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Management and Control

IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modelling,


IFAC
June Conference
IFAC 28-30, 2016. on
Conference Manufacturing
Troyes, France Modelling,
Management and on Manufacturing
Control Modelling,
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Management and
Management and Control
Control
June 28-30, 2016. Troyes, France
June 28-30, 2016. Troyes, France
June 28-30, 2016. Troyes, France
ScienceDirect
IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-12
Beyond Productivity and(2016) 467–472
Continuous Improvement:
Beyond Productivity
Fundamentals required for
Beyond Productivity and Continuous
andLean Improvement:
Complex
Continuous transformation
Improvement:
Fundamentals required for
Fundamentals required for Lean Complex transformation
Lean
Unpublished Complex transformation
Unpublished
Unpublished
*Ronald LEANDRO ELIZONDO, **Bernard Unpublished GRABOT, ** Raymond HOUE NGOUNA.
*Ronald LEANDRO ELIZONDO, 
ELIZONDO, **Bernard GRABOT, GRABOT, ** RaymondRaymond HOUE NGOUNA.
NGOUNA.
*Ronald
*Ronald LEANDRO
LEANDRO ELIZONDO, **Bernard**Bernard GRABOT, ** ** Raymond HOUE
HOUE NGOUNA.


*LGP-INP-ENIT, Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées,
47 Avenue
*LGP-INP-ENIT, d’Azereix, BP
Université 1629,
Fédérale F-65016
ToulouseTarbes Cedex
Midi-Pyrénées,
*LGP-INP-ENIT,
*LGP-INP-ENIT,
Instituto TecnológicoUniversité
Université
de Costa Fédérale
Fédérale
Rica, Toulouse
Toulouse
Cartago, Midi-Pyrénées,
Midi-Pyrénées,
Costa Rica. (e-mail:
47
47 Avenue
Avenue d’Azereix,
d’Azereix, BP
BP 1629,
1629, F-65016
F-65016 Tarbes
Tarbes Cedex
Cedex
47 Avenue d’Azereix, BP 1629, F-65016 Tarbes Cedex
Instituto
Instituto Tecnológico de
Tecnológico de Costa
de Costa Rica,
Costa Rica, Cartago,
Rica, Cartago,
Cartago, Costa Rica.
Rica. (e-mail:
Costa Rica. (e-mail:
Instituto Tecnológico
jose-ronald.leandro-elizondo@enit.fr Costa (e-mail:
/ rleandro@itcr.ac.cr)
jose-ronald.leandro-elizondo@enit.fr
jose-ronald.leandro-elizondo@enit.fr // rleandro@itcr.ac.cr)
jose-ronald.leandro-elizondo@enit.fr
**LGP-INP-ENIT, / rleandro@itcr.ac.cr)
rleandro@itcr.ac.cr)
Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées,
**LGP-INP-ENIT,
**LGP-INP-ENIT, Université
Université Fédérale Toulouse
Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées,
Midi-Pyrénées,
**LGP-INP-ENIT, Université
47 Avenue d’Azereix, BP Fédérale Toulouse
1629, F-65016 Midi-Pyrénées,
Tarbes Cedex
47
47 Avenue d’Azereix, BP 1629, F-65016 Tarbes Cedex
47 Avenue
(e-mail: Avenue d’Azereix,
d’Azereix, BP
BP 1629,
1629, F-65016
F-65016
bernard.grabot@enit.fr)(e-mail:
Tarbes
Tarbes Cedex
Cedex
raymond.houe@enit.fr)
(e-mail:
(e-mail: bernard.grabot@enit.fr)(e-mail: raymond.houe@enit.fr)
(e-mail: bernard.grabot@enit.fr)(e-mail:
bernard.grabot@enit.fr)(e-mail: raymond.houe@enit.fr)
raymond.houe@enit.fr)
Abstract: Lean Practices are well known and applied worldwide; their implementation purpose must be tailor-
made because
Abstract: Leaneach firm isare
Practices unique.
well There
knownis and
a whole “management
applied worldwide; philosophy”
their behind it; purpose
implementation its origins are be
must based on
tailor-
Abstract:
Abstract:
Toyota’s Lean
Lean
Just in Practices
Practices
Time are
are
(JIT) andwell
well known
known
perhaps cope and
and applied
applied
with worldwide;
worldwide;
Deming’s their
their
contributions. implementation
implementation
There is a heap purpose
purpose
of must
must
information be
be
on tailor-
tailor-
Lean;
made because each firm is unique. There is a whole “management philosophy” behind it; its origins are based on
made because
because each coincides
firm is
is unique.
unique. Therebenefits
is aa whole
whole “management philosophy” behind it; its origins
origins areThis
based on
made
many
Toyota’spractitioners
Just ineach
Time firm
(JIT) with
and There
their
perhaps is
cope with “management
likewise
Deming’s philosophy”
its contributions.
complex deployment
There behind
is(non
aa heapit; its
linear
of system).are
information based
on paper
Lean; on
Toyota’s
Toyota’s
reviews Just
Just
the in
in Time
Time
literature (JIT)
(JIT) and
and
concerning perhaps
perhaps
Lean cope
cope with
with
management Deming’s
Deming’s
practices contributions.
contributions.
and the There
There
disability is
is
for a heap
heap
some of
of information
information
companies to on
on
upholdLean;
Lean;
the
many
many practitioners
practitioners coincides
coincides with
with their
their benefits
benefits likewise
likewise its
its complex
complex deployment
deployment (non linear
linear system).
(nonpurpose system). This
This paper
paper
many
resultspractitioners
reviews over
the literaturecoincides
time; specifically with
concerning their
it analyses
Lean benefits
management likewise
the difficulty its
to align
practices complex
Lean’s
and the deployment
implementation
disability for (non
some linear system).
(behaviour
companies to This paper
change)
uphold the
reviews
reviews
with the the
the literature
literature
efforts to concerning
concerning
optimize Lean
Lean
processes management
management
within the practices
practices
organisation. and
and the
the
The disability
disability
literature for
for
foundsome
some two companies
companies
main to
to
reasonsuphold
uphold
for the
the
this
results
results over
over time;
time; specifically
specifically it
it analyses
analyses the
the difficulty
difficulty to
to align
align Lean’s
Lean’s implementation
implementation purpose
purpose (behaviour
(behaviour change)
change)
results
with over
predicament:
the time; specifically
firstly a break it
down analyses the
interaction difficulty
between to align
people Lean’s
(social implementation
side) and tools and purpose
techniques (behaviour
(technicalchange)
side)
with
with the efforts
the efforts
efforts
to
to optimize
to optimize processes
processes within the
the organisation.
within especially
organisation. The
The literature
literature found
found two two main
main reasons
reasons for this
forpaper
this
and secondly,
predicament:
predicament:
a lack
firstly
firstly aaoptimize
ofbreak
break
processes
leadership
down
down
within
commitment,
interaction
interaction
the
between
between
organisation.
people
people
from topThe
(social
(social
literature
managers.
side)
side) and
and
found
Therefore,
tools
tools and
and
two
the main
techniques
techniques
reasons
intention of this
(technical
(technical
for this
side)
side)
predicament:
is
andto explain firstly
those a break
pitfalls down
based interaction
on dynamic between
system people
thinking: (social
the side) and
contribution tools
of and techniques
productivity (technical
improvement, side)
which
and secondly,
and secondly,
secondly,
narrows in a those
aa lack
a lack
more
of
of leadership
lackholistic
of leadership
leadership
manner
commitment,
commitment,
commitment,
these
especially
especially
Inespecially
gaps.system addition,
from
from
from
we the
top
top managers.
top
focus managers.
managers.
Therefore,
Therefore,
on the continuous
the
the intention
Therefore,improvement
the intention
of
of this
of this paper
intentionapproach
this paper
paper
as a
is
is to
to explain
explain those pitfalls
pitfalls based
based on
on dynamic
dynamic system thinking:
thinking: the contribution
contribution of
of productivity
productivity improvement,
improvement, which
which
is to
metricexplain
narrows toin those
measure
aa more pitfalls
Lean’s
holistic based
manner on
“behaviour dynamic
change”
these gaps. system
and
In thinking:
also to
addition, we the
foster contribution
commitment
focus on on the of
(bothproductivity
leaders
the continuous improvement and improvement,
human
improvement approach which
talent);
approach as astheaa
narrows
narrows
paper in
also more
inmeasure
atackles holistic
more Lean’s
holistic manner
manner these
the performance these gaps.
problem
change”
In
In addition,
gaps.through
and addition,
also
we
we focus
empowered
to focus
foster on the continuous
workers
commitment continuous
that improvement
has leaders
(both been recognized
and humanapproach
intalent); as a
the Lean
metric
metric to
to measure Lean’s
to measure
metric also
literature.
“behaviour
Lean’s “behaviour
“behaviour change”
change” and and also
also to
to foster
foster commitment
commitment (both
(both leaders
leaders andand human talent); the
human talent); the
the
paper
paper also tackles
also tackles
tackles thethe performance
the performance problem
performance problem through
problem through empowered
through empowered
empowered workers workers that
workers that has
that has been
has been recognized
been recognized
recognized in in the
in the Lean
the Lean
Lean
paper
© 2016, IFACDynamic
literature.
Keywords:
literature.
literature. (International Federation
Systems of Automatic
Thinking, ComplexControl)Systems, Hosting by Elsevier
Systemic Lean Ltd. All rights reserved.
Management, Continuous
Improvement,
Keywords: Productivity
Dynamic Management,
Systems Socio-technical
Thinking, Complex factors .
Systems, Systemic Lean Management,
Keywords: Dynamic
Keywords: Dynamic Systems Systems Thinking,
Thinking, Complex
Complex Systems,
Systems, Systemic
Systemic Lean Management, Continuous
Lean Management, Continuous
Continuous
Improvement,
Improvement, Productivity Management, Socio-technical factors .
..
Improvement, Productivity
Productivity Management,
Management, Socio-technical
Socio-technical factors addressing
factors it. Leaders must be committed with the
1. INTRODUCTION
organization’s
addressing it. intention
Leaders ofmust a newbeandcommitted
enhanced culturewith by
the
1. INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION addressing
addressing
setting it.
it. Leaders
the example Leaders
and of must
mustthe be
live be committed
committed
change (Dombrowski with
with andthe
the
1.
1. INTRODUCTION organization’s intention a new and enhanced culture by
Lean Practices (LP) enable improving organisational organization’s
organization’s intention
intention of aa new
new and
of Systems and enhanced
enhanced culture
culture by
by
Mielke,the
setting 2014).
example Dynamics
and live the Thinking
change may
(Dombrowski helpand
to
capacity,
Lean Practices reliable
Practices (LP) (LP) enableprocesses,
enable profitability
improving organisational and setting
setting the example
thethese
example and live
and live the change
theitchange (Dombrowski
(Dombrowski and
and
Lean
Lean Practices There(LP) isenable improving
improving organisational
organisational formalize
Mielke, 2014). problems, since
Dynamics Systems proposes
Thinking to comprehend
may help to
competitiveness.
capacity, reliable a whole
processes, management
profitabilityphilosophy and Mielke,
Mielke, 2014).
2014). Dynamics
Dynamics Systems
Systems Thinking
Thinking may help
mayaffect to
help the
to
capacity,
capacity, reliable
reliable and processes,
processes, profitability
profitability and
and the interrelations
formalize these between the
problems, since parts
it and how to
proposes theycomprehend
behind it (Dombrowski
competitiveness. There is aMielke,
whole 2014; Martinez-Jurado
management philosophy et formalize
formalize these
these problems,
problems, since
since it
it proposes
proposes to
to comprehend
comprehend
competitiveness.
competitiveness. There
There is
is a
a whole
whole management
management philosophy
philosophy whole;
the based on this
interrelations between we argue that
the parts the
and two pitfalls
how they show an
affect the
al., 2014). Many expertsand and scholars underline its complex the
the interrelations between
between the
behind
behind it
behind
it (Dombrowski
it (Dombrowski
(Dombrowski Mielke,
and Mielke,
and Mielke, 2014;
2014;
2014;
Martinez-Jurado
Martinez-Jurado
Martinez-Jurado
et
et
et
interrelations
alignment
whole; based gapon between
this we arguetheparts
the parts
that
and
and how
firm’s
the
how
two
they
they affect
purposes
pitfalls
affect
and
show
the
the
the
an
deployment
al., 2014). and the
Many disability
experts and of some
scholars companies
underline tocomplex
its up hold whole;
whole; based
based on
on this
this we
we argue
argue that
that the
the two
two pitfalls
pitfalls show
show an
ana
al., 2014).
al., 2014). Many experts and scholars underline its complex company’s gap
alignment improvement
between efforts
the regarding
firm’s purposes Lean, and as the
the resultsMany
deployment over
and
experts
the time. and
Thescholars
disability of some
underline
literature its complex
proposes upmany alignment
alignment gap
gap between
between the
the firm’s
firm’s purposes
purposes and
and the
the
deployment
deployment
explanations and
and
aboutthethis
the disability
disability
void of
but some companies
ofemphasizes
some companies
companies
two
to up
to
to up
main
hold
hold
hold
points:
systemic
company’s management
improvement approach.
efforts Clearly, both Lean,
regarding of themas area
the results over time. The literature proposes many company’s
company’s and
correlated improvement
improvement efforts
efforts
they approach.
will regarding
regarding
influence the Lean,
Lean, as
as aa
company’s
the
the
firstly,results
results
an over
over time.
unbalanced time. The
The literature
relationship literature
between proposes
proposes
people many
many
(social) systemic management Clearly, both of them are
explanations about about this
this void
void but
but emphasizes
emphasizes two two main
main points:
points: systemic
performance management
systemic management
through approach.
approach.
time. Clearly,
Clearly,
Therefore, both
someboth of
questions them
of themcomeare
are
explanations
explanations
and tools and about this void
techniques but emphasizes
(technical). two mainremains
The confusion points: correlated and they will influence the company’s
firstly, an unbalanced relationship between people (social) correlated
correlated
up: what and
basic they
and mindset
they willwill
to influence
influencethe the
strengthen the company’s
company’s
existing culture
firstly,
firstly,
on an
an unbalanced
unbalanced relationship
relationship between
between people
people (social)
(social) performance through time. Therefore, some questions comecome
andhow
and toolsto and
connect
and employees’
techniques contributions
(technical). and to recognize
The confusion
confusion remains performance
performance
could drive through
through
themindset
Leantime.
time. Therefore,
Therefore,
complex some
some questions
questions
transformation? Howcometo
and tools
them tools
as to techniques
and enhancer
a key techniques (technical).
(technical).
over Lean The
The confusion
implementation remains
remains
process. In up:
up: what basic to strengthen the existing culture
on
on how
how to connect
connect employees’
employees’ contributions
contributions and
and to
to recognize
recognize up: what
whatthe
measure basic
basic mindset
mindset
behaviour to
to strengthen
change strengthen
and the
the existing
commitment existing
proposedculture
culture
by
on how
(de Menezes to connect employees’
etenhancer
al., 2010; contributions
Martinez- and to recognize
Jurado et al., process.
2014) it In is could drive
could drive the the Lean
Lean complex
complex transformation?
transformation? How How to to
them
them as a key over Lean implementation could thinking
Lean drive thewhile Leanimproving
complex performance
transformation? a How
inproposed to
holistic
them as as aa key
mentioned key
thatenhancer
enhancer
there over
overnot
are Lean
Lean implementation
implementation
enough research process.
process.that
studies In
In measure
measure the
the behaviour
behaviour change
change and
and commitment
commitment proposed by
by
(de
(de Menezes et al., 2010; Martinez- Jurado et al., 2014) it is measure
way? the behaviour change and commitment proposed by
(de Menezes
Menezes
examine humanet
et al.,
al., 2010;
2010; Martinez-
resource Martinez-
management Jurado
Jurado et
et al.,
al., 2014)
associated with it
2014) is
itthe
is Lean thinking
Lean thinking while improving
Lean thinking while
improving performance in
while improving performance
in a holistic
performance in aa holistic holistic
mentioned
mentioned that
that there are not enough research studies that
mentioned
Lean that there
implementationthere areare not
not enough
phase. enough
Secondly,research
research
there studies
studies
is a that
that
low way?
way?
way?
examine human
examine human resource
resource management
management associated
associated with with thethe Considering the company as an open system and Lean as a
examine human
leadership resource (from
encouragement management associated (Losonci
top management) with the
Lean implementation phase. Secondly, there is a low subsystem,
Lean
Lean
et implementation
Taylor et al,phase.
implementation
al., 2011; phase.
2013) Secondly,
Secondly, ofthere
there is
is aa low low Considering this paper tries
the company
company as anantoopenshow howandproductivity
system Lean asas a
leadership
leadership encouragement
encouragement (fromas top
(from
a result
top a misconception
management)
management) (Losonci
(Losonci
Considering
Considering the
management theandcompany as
as an open
continuous open system
system and
improvement Lean
Lean as aa
andapproaches
leadership
of the 2011; encouragement
purpose of Lean (from top management) (Losonci subsystem, this paper tries to show how productivity
et al.,
et al., Taylor al, and
et al, 2013) theasmanager’s of responsibility
a result of a misconception in subsystem,
subsystem,
explain the this
this paper
paper tries
interrelationshiptries that to show
show how
to answer how
the gap productivity
productivity
concern
et al., 2011;
2011; Taylor
Taylor et et al, 2013)
2013) as as aa result
result of aa misconception
misconception management
management and continuous
continuous improvement approaches
of
of the purpose of Lean and the manager’s responsibility in management and continuous improvement approaches
and improvement approaches
of the
the purpose
purpose of of Lean
Lean and and the
the manager’s
manager’s responsibility
responsibility in in explain the
explain the interrelationship that that answer the the gap concern
concern
explain the interrelationship
interrelationship that answer answer the gap gap concern
Copyright © 2016 IFAC 467
2405-8963 © 2016, IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright
Peer review© 2016 responsibility
IFAC 467Control.
Copyright
Copyright ©under
© 2016 IFAC
2016 IFAC of International Federation of Automatic
467
467
10.1016/j.ifacol.2016.07.655
IFAC MIM 2016
468
June 28-30, 2016. Troyes, France Ronald Leandro Elizondo et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-12 (2016) 467–472

between Lean purpose and its implementation efforts inside adds “The core of Japanese management of quality,
the organisations. After the literature review, we will first flexibly quick response and employee involvement
present the productivity management as a holistic thinking in concepts and techniques – now more than a quarter
order to demonstrate some missing links when synthesizing century old, seem built to endure”. Managers should
and analyzing lean purposes. Based on that, we will then design processes that develop people “on the job”. Hence,
describe the way of addressing lean issues in a broader the authors showed a direct connectivity involving
manner that sustain results over time, followed by a Operations Management (OM) and Human Resources
conclusion and perspectives of this work (HR) fields with business performance, other authors
confirm this as well (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2012; Hines
2. LEAN PRACTICES BACKGROUND et al., 2004). So, a Lean organisation must support
employee empowerment through interrelated factors such
2.1 Lean Overview as training, organisational infrastructure and culture
maturity that sustain improvements over time. Birdi et al.
Lean is a management model strategy that focuses on creating (2008) affirmed “the effectiveness of operational practices
“value” to the customer so as to deliver quality products/ depends on human resource. Adopting empowerment and
services in time at a low cost. Lean is an evolved version of extensive training was the key to productivity”. Thus, the
Japan Management Practices (JMP) such as Total Quality socio-technical interaction will directly impact the speed
Management (TQM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) of change, achieving aims and developing long-term
or JIT (Holweg, 2007; Taylor et al., 2013). Daniel Jones, (UK improvement capability.
CEO of Lean Enterprise Academy) in 2013 mentioned “Lean
did not derive from theory but through observing practices at • Secondly, low leadership encouragement will result in a
Toyota that were delivering superior performance in terms of misconception of Lean purpose and its responsibility in
product quality, efficiency and time to market for new addressing it (Dombrowski and Mielke, 2014; Martinez-
products, leading Toyota to eventually become the largest car Jurado et al., 2014). Top management commitment is a
maker in the world” (http://www.leanuk.org). Currently, key to Lean metamorphosis as it impacts the engagement
many authors found out a lot of evidence showing that the of people (Birdi et al., 2008). So, the leader’s job is to
integration of these JMP will improve performance and draw handle change by working side-by-side with the
competitive advantage to firms (Birdi et al., 2008; Bortolotti employees. A widely agreed opinion by Lean performers,
et al., 2015). The interest and benefits of any of these JMP is that it must foster leadership commitment that drives
can be attributed to the maximization of outputs through the continuous improvement and the socio-technical
optimization of inputs used to produce them (productivity). correlation; otherwise any firm will certainly struggle
As most of the literature acknowledges, LP is a holistic against change.
management philosophy, distinguishing the importance of
continuous improvement and a learning organization From a theoretical judgment, it is then clear that, solving in a
(Bortolotti et al., 2015; de Menezes et al., 2010). sustainable way (over time) the unbalanced relationships
among socio-technical factors and a low leadership should be
Lean transformation is very convoluted; firms still strive on tackled in a different way of thinking Lean, including a broad
how to align the organizational objectives with the company’s view of the organizations. The following sub-section
improvement efforts. Therefore, performance gaps remain highlights some empirical cases that show such complexity in
overtime, such as: shortage strategic vision (Taylor et al., the Lean implementation process.
2013; Dombrowski and Mielke, 2014), lack of management-
employee’s commitments (Martinez-Jurado et al., 2014; 2.2 Some Lean Empirical Cases
Scherrer-Rathje et al, 2009), resistance to change,
organizations keep on relying on consultants (Dombrowski LP have been successfully transferred to many companies,
and Mielke, 2014; Taylor et al, 2013), short-term standpoint, proving that they do not have a “cultural attachment”
a weak or nonexistent interaction between the employees and exclusively to Japan to be implemented (Holweg, 2007;
tools and techniques, low leadership acknowledgments Schonberger, 2007). Empirical evidence supports the
(Dombrowski and Mielke, 2014; Martinez-Jurado et al., disparity founded among Lean’s purpose and the
2014). All of those findings are “management issues” and two implementation efforts. The first illustration case (Taylor et
correlated evidences arise. al., 2013) is a survey in UK automobile manufacturing plants
that outlines key conclusions over Lean systems:
• Firstly, an unbalanced relationship between people (social) • Plant success: Management personal involvement gives
and tools and techniques (technical): the social includes credibility, attitudes and appetite for change.
people, organizational structure and culture; while, the • Working environment: Discipline for standards, flexibility
technical refers to tools, techniques, methods and work and adaptability and failure not countenanced.
(Martinez-Jurado et al., 2014). Both have been widely • Labour management: Employee involvement; demanding
studied, but separately by pragmatics. The critical issue is targets and supervisor-worker relations.
how to connect employee’s contributions and to recognize • Rewards/recognition: Non financial recognition and team
them as a key enhancer over Lean implementation process based rewards.
(de Menezes et al., 2010). As quoted, “many western • Personnel development: Regular appraisal and relevant
observers were blinded by their narrow mentality instead training, continuous review and improvement.
of being able to see the Japanese Management approach
(bottom-up) for what it was a change of paradigm”. He

468
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June 28-30, 2016. Troyes, France Ronald Leandro Elizondo et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-12 (2016) 467–472 469

Taylor’s findings can be supported by other empirical cases, Until now, few authors have tackled amalgamation of
for instance the case of the Suzuki’s plant in Hungary, at the management practices and its bond with productivity
welding and sewing areas (Losonci et al., 2011). The new (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2012; Scherrer-Rathje et al., 2009).
CEO (with a lot of Lean projects experiences) knew that Productivity should directly reflect the impact of
commitment is the key factor for booming change perception. implementing management practices because it connects the
Thereby, the CEO himself walked around the workshop twice human talent and organizational performance (Birdi et al.,
a week. Indeed, the workers’ perception of higher 2008). To understand the nature of the Lean change and
commitment, good communication and better work methods whilst to unravel the gaps mentioned before, let us review the
can generally increase motivation and will perceive changes Lean’s genesis. After World War II, Japan’s need to survive,
positively. Other sectors have been interested too and reported as a Nation, made Japanese look forward to raise people’s
that transferring Lean will result in many difficulties because morale due to employment. That spirit stimulated them to
of a lack of clear focus, just like the aerospace (U.S. Air work harder rebuilding their industries; so a solid trust among
Force, “Lean Aerospace Initiative”, 1993), (Holweg, 2007). government, top management and employees was needed
In Crute et al. (2003), describe the case of two component (Asian Productivity Organization, 2014; Japan Productivity
plants A and B of a same firm pressured for better Center, 1988). Nevertheless, Japan’s product reputation was
performance. In plant A, LP was implemented holistically for on high cost, poor quality and long delivery times,
six months with clear performance indicators. Contrarily, (Schonberger, 2007). As a result, in 1955 the JPC-SED was
Plant B’s implementation lap last 18 months, without any founded and survey missions were sent to the West to find out
specific measurements. Lessons learned by them are: LP are why their products were more competitive. At the same time,
plant specific, clear purposes and performance measures the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers invited
differs in each plant; a need for a strategically-tactical LP Edward Deming to deliver a Conference over the Quality
outlook from senior managers have then an important role to Control Techniques. His final message was that quality
be developed and communicated. Ohno (1988) explains these improvement will increase productivity and market share
management issues as follow: the TPS thinking background is through costs reduction. With this, JPC-SED developed a
to answer Toyota’s own problems at that time, as each plant is deeper angle on how to look at “Productivity”. By blending,
unique. Productivity and Quality became the motivational agents for
improving their production capability and profitability. Many
Thus, achieving LP is not an easy task, like the case of a food Japan companies found innovative ways to work and made
processing machines and equipment manufacturer in Europe them more competitive (Holweg, 2007), such as TPS. Lessons
(Scherrer-Rathje et al., 2009). The first project (1997) crashed learned from Japan are discipline, commitment, respect for
because of lack of senior commitment. Deming asserted that human being, customer value and cooperation (Holweg, 2007;
“The problem is at the top. Management is the problem”, he Schonberger, 2007).
referred that behaviour change starts with the top
management’s commitment to generate major differences Productivity is a very well known concept, but deserves to be
(Dombrowski and Mielke, 2014). But, the second project reconsidered. The definition of productivity, with a general
(2006) has been a success; lessons learned were on clear acceptance, is a quantitative relationship between output and
management engagement, to foster autonomy, strategic vision input, (Prokopenko and North, 1996). In different disciplines,
for sustainability, close communication to employees this notion is the same but treated separately. For instance,
concerning mid-long term goals and frequent assessment of economists focus on National Economies results, financials
LP. For the Japan Productivity Centre for Socio-Economic on the money maximization through investments; whereas
Development (JPC-SED) experts, true commitment must be engineers rely on study the process and HR managers on
shown as money, time and work. Real leadership starts not human competences. All are not mistaken but a new way of
only by providing money and time for projects but by treating productivity is needed. Traditionally, to sort out
working side by side with the personnel, (Dombrowski and problems we isolate them into parts to identify linear
Mielke, 2014); it is a critical requirement to continuous interactions (cause-effect) to control them and afterwards the
improvement (CI) thinking. Furthermore, managers play an final solution is the sum of those parts (Reductionism). For
important role by coaching employees and bringing them the example, productivity measurements such as partial
opportunity to develop their problem-solving skills. Herewith, productivity and total factor productivity have that linear
the personnel will be motivated and it is a reliable breaker of aspect. Complex Systems Thinking takes into account the
the “change resistance”. interrelationship of the parts with the whole, (Seddon, 2007),
bringing a wider solution. So far, human issues have been
Indeed, the literature reviewed and the study cases solved individually but the whole organizational problem
acknowledged that even nowadays, a lot of firms are remains, leading to a need of a new way of thinking by
repeating the same mistakes when they attempt LP connecting the parts to the whole, based on a holistic view.
implementation: lack of leadership commitment and socio-
technical gaps. In our opinion, Productivity Management is 3.3 . Holistic Point of View
the “missing link” to reach LP in a wider sense, as described
in the following section. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a successful example
of a dynamic system thinking that has been applied in
3. PRODUCTIVITY MANAGEMENT business organisations (Seddon, 2007). Based on this, Lean
also can be considered as a complex open system with
3.1 Origins and Traditional Productivity Measurement several processes with feedback loops. Lean’s lacks of
sustainable results over time have been till now solved

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“linearly”. This leads us to study the interconnectivity 2007) those are: (1) In the long run, improvement of
between Lean weaknesses with Productivity management and productivity will increase employment. By means of
continuous improvement approaches based on two diversification of goods, it should promote employment.
assumptions: For example, Mitsubishi Co, automobile producer, also
have other segments (food, energy, finance, chemicals,
Assumption 1. Productivity Management Global overture: an machinery and banking) meaning growth and
outset framework to commitment and behaviour change. employment.
(2) In developing specific measures to enhance
To better understand the nature of the Lean conversion entails productivity, employees and management must
to set up principles that reinforce commitment within the collaborate in discussing, studying and deliberating such
organisation. Management should assure the employee’s measures. Deming, avowed that “85% of the firm’s
commitment through positive belief and trust in the change problems refer to the process’ variability and 15% due to
people. The worker is not the issue. The problem is at the
(Losonci et al., 2011). These specific value judgments are
top Management!” Also, Losonci et al. (2011) stated
based on Productivity improvement (Leandro, 2007; Fukuda
“people were shocked seeing their managers replacing
and Sase, 1994), those are a Definition, the Objectives and tables, equipment and other stuff based on instructions
three Guiding Principles. shaped in the previous weeks by workers”. This is called
 Definition. Hutton (1953) asserted that “Productivity is, “commitment” and starting with the top managers; their
above all, an attitude of the mind. It seeks continually job is to lead the change. Two basic management roles
improve what already exists. It is based on the believe that can be taken from this principle (Leandro, 2007). (i)
one can do things today better than yesterday and Facilitator: it entails to train the worker with tools and
tomorrow better than today. Also, it requires a lot of techniques needed to solve basic problems; because of
that he follow up the worker’s improvement projects
efforts to adapt economical activities to changing
along with it he becomes committed; thanks to better
conditions applying news theories and methods. It is a
communication skills (top-bottom). Hence, human
firmly believe on the progress of the human being”; it learning processes are the heart of resource productivity
became the Japan’s outset to endeavour competitiveness. (Scherrer-Rathje, 2009); (ii) Researcher-Developer:
while the employees sort out basic problems, managers
 Objectives. To support this definition, some objectives could concentrate in solving deeper problems within the
were created as a growth strategy (Japan Productivity process or in strategic objective achievements (Leandro,
Center, 1988): 2007).
(3) The fruits of productivity must, in reciprocity with the
Socially/Mentally: to increase morale by making things today condition of the national economy, be distributed fairly
better than yesterday; it is a positive attitude towards to build among management, labour and consumer. Boosting
awareness, human talent development and top productivity by common management-labour partnership
management/unions commitment. Peter Rehnstrom, CEO of efforts must produce benefits; allowing a healthy balance
the European Association of National Productivity Centers and welfare to society (Asian Productivity Organization,
(EANPC) (2006) said that “It should be born in mind that 2014). However, profits must be fairly distributed among
productivity is related to matters such as security and well- the stakeholders, a win-win situation. The management
being. Only workers who are content and healthy can be and labour cooperation transforms the organization to meet
productive. High productivity is the best way to keep your the speedily changing consumer’s demands while remain
job”. competitive. By adding value to products/services the
society benefits because it will meet their requirements.
Economically: to enhance value added to products/services This leads to a bigger market share which generates
and fair distribution of profits. EANPC defines productivity demand, assures employment and higher wages.
as contributor to value creation by making continuously
better use of resources to contribute to growth, innovation Therefore, top management should strengthen the employee’s
and employment; it is not seen just as a statistical issue. commitment through trust and values previous to make any
drastic changes (Losonci et al., 2011). The first assumption is
Technically: it is a relationship between outputs and inputs, that, seemingly, Lean somehow omitted original Productivity
also better quality of goods/services. Productivity should not which integrates together purpose, people and process
only be measured but managed; which is called productivity performance.
improvement (Prokopenko and North, 1996). For instance,
Gert-Jan Koopman, Director at the Enterprise and Industry Assumption 2. Continuous Improvement can be a method of
Directorate General of the European Commission said the Behavioural Change.
“Europe needs to really dig in and do something about
productivity and preferably without undue delay. Otherwise OM and HR Management integration practices are
there is no hope of ever catching up with the United States in interconnected with productivity (de Menezes et al., 2010).
productivity”. This means that the socio-technical factors are interdependent
 Three Guiding Principles were created by JPC-SED to and both influence commitment (Birdi et al., 2008).
promote growth, (Fukuda and Sase, 1994; Leandro, Managers must establish purpose, optimise processes through

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a human talent by solving problems in a systemic way, important, it offers the conditions needed wherein decisions
(Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2012). are based on the facts.

Using the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle (as a start line) and CI Productivity optimization is a fundamental factor of lean
practices such as group problem solving, teamwork and leadership because it exposes the need to improve processes
employee suggestions are fundamental for successfully and because it enforces teamwork between leaders and
implementing lean (Bortolotti et al., 2015). CI is the baseline employees (Dombrowski and Mielke, 2014). Top
to enhance productivity and a key element in quality management needs to design processes that support a
management activities (Suzuki, 1993; Leandro, 2007); its “problem solving” structured by developing people’s skills.
application brings flexibility, a better vertical relationship and The employees become committed when they are directly
supports process improvement. Besides, CI enables to shatter involved in the change since the beginning and later asked
the initial resistance to change, and, has a big impact on about their ideas on how to improve their workplace (Losonci
performance with a low capital investment. Even so, et al., 2011). However, many experts underline the need of a
Dombrowski and Mielke (survey 2014), along with the reward system, not only to allow everyone’s motivation and
German Institute for Advanced Industrial Management, assure their constant participation, but to support CI. Also,
showed that 90% of the interviewed had implemented CI and managers can witness the improvements being developed by
they confirm its importance. Likewise, Lean experts remarks their subordinates.
in firms suggest that less than 10% actually apply it. This
evidence shows that many practitioners misconceived what is At all, dealing with Productivity, which is in fact a systemic
behind CI and its critical role in Lean; for CI is, basically, concept needs to introduce a broader way of thinking. Lean
just a set of tools. Thinking is an interesting manner of approaching it. As
presented previously, in order to sustain results over time,
There is a whole CI basic strategy beyond to support Lean socio-technical factor have to be taken into account, aiming
thinking (Gapp et al., 2008; Suzuki, 1993). The scope of this at allowing the behaviour change, which is key aspect for
basic strategy encompasses an initial “awareness” step maintaining sustainability. Based on that, the two following
supported by 5S program and Kaizen (Suzuki, 1993; proposals, in our opinion are necessary: (1) a clear definition
Leandro, 2007). Together, these techniques focus on how to of Lean, (2) Productivity and CI as method for measuring
build the proper working habits through the creation of a behaviour change.
collaborative background of all the actors involved (top-
bottom levels). Its success depends on really understand their Lean’s Definition: What does Lean stand for? When
true meaning which is “to initiate the behaviour change”. searching for “Lean”, one can find it as “Lean Production”,
However, concurrent misconceptions and deficiencies have “Lean Management”, “Lean Manufacturing”, etc. Definitions
been applied toward 5S and Kaizen. For instance, Kaizen are vague or confused, (Taylor et al., 2013). The most
means small but continuous changes and its objectives are to referenced definition is “Lean Production is an integrated
foster behavioural change, to develop worker’s competences socio-technical system whose main objective is to eliminate
(skills), to find root cause of problems and to solve them waste by concurrently reducing or minimizing supplier,
(Suzuki, 1993; Leandro, 2007). Moreover, in the literature a customer, and internal variability” (Shah and Ward, 2007).
common confusion on 5S is to consider it as “housekeeping”; Another is: “Lean management is a managerial approach for
this reduces its real objective (Suzuki, 1993; Kobayashi, improving processes based on a complex system of
2008). 5S is a participation program for small group activities interrelated socio-technical practices” (Bortolotti et al.,
that look forward to improve the productivity and work 2015). We found these definition too specific and with a lack
environment (Leandro, 2007; Japan Productivity Center, on how to do, respectively. Thinking in a broader way, our
1988). Its specific objectives are to allow good teamwork, to proposed definition is: “Lean Thinking as a holistic long term
encourage managers and supervisors for a practical productivity approach to behavioural change at the
leadership, to develop Kaizen minded people and to improve organisation, based on complex systems thinking of
the plant conditions (Leandro, 2007; Japan Productivity interrelated sociotechnical practices, in order to add value to
Center, 1988). Through “people involvement”, the initial products/services by managing waste, and therefore, obtain
barriers of resistance can then be broken down. So, a second welfare to stakeholders, employees and customers”.
step is to educate, starting with basic statistical quality tools
(7QC tools) and work-study, like process flowcharts (Suzuki, Productivity and CI approaches as Performance Criterion for
1993; Leandro, 2007); this will enable the exposure of Behaviour Change: Originally, the productivity management
problematic workshop situations. As well, it will ensure approach and CI were the foundation to initiate the change.
problem solving skills, which promote a better quality Our proposal is to use them together as a metric for the
environment (Schonberger, 2007) and eliminate waste. “behaviour change” needed by Lean. Our premise is that this
Hence, “Knowledge” connects people to the firm’s is the starting line to narrow the socio-technical and
performance goals. Finally, the third step is to promote commitment gaps. Simultaneously, it can diagnose the
“participation”, which means how to organize people current situation and address the underlying potential
properly for improvement through quality control circles instability sources, release any difficulty or deviations and
(teamwork) and a suggestion systems scheme? But, most catch any learning for the future. This perspective should

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bring solid bases to deploy a strategy that aligns purpose and Gapp, R., Fisher, R., Kobayashi, K. (2008). Implementing 5s
improve the processes using the empowered people. within a Japanese context: an integrated management
system. Management Decision 46 (4), 565–579.
5. CONCLUSION AND PERSPECTIVES Gunasekaran, A., Ngai, E. W. (2012). The future of
operations management: an outlook and analysis.
In this paper which deals with Productivity and CI as a International Journal of Production Economics 135 (2),
requirement for the Lean transformation, we have shown that 687–701.
there is (i) a misalignment between current implementation Hines, P., Holweg, M., Rich, N. (2004). Learning to evolve: a
process of Lean and its original purposes and (ii) a gap review of contemporary lean thinking. International
between socio-technical and commitment aspects. For that Journal of Operations & Production Management 24
reason, until now, many firms did not implement Productivity (10), 994–1011.
management as a systemic approach, taking into account the Holweg, M. (2007). The genealogy of lean production.
various relationships among the factors that influence it. Journal of Operations Management 25 (2), 420–437.
Besides, this implementation does not really face the change Hutton, G. (1953). We too can prosper: the promise of
of behaviour through basic tools and techniques as a key productivity. Published for the British Productivity
starting point. Therefore, we have proposed a clear definition Council, formerly the Anglo-American Council on
of Lean and the use of Productivity and CI as strategic critera
Productivity (UK Section) by Allen and Unwin.
for measuring the behaviour change and as a solver of the
Japan Productivity Center (1988). Introduction to the Roles
gaps within the organisations. As a perspective of this work,
we will also propose a model based on loop diagrams that of Productivity Facilitator. Overseas technical
show, in a different manner, the management levels of a cooperation dept. Tokyo: JPC.
company, the interrelationships between the main factors that Kobayashi, K., Fisher, R., Gapp, R. (2008). Business
influence the productivity management over time. We will improvement strategy or useful tool? Analysis of the
then be able to validate our proposal with a simulation application of the 5s concept in Japan, the UK and the
dynamic model based on Forrester diagrams. US. Total Quality Management 19 (3), 245–262.
Leandro, R., (2007). Primero hacemos gente antes que
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