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Exploring Lean in the Swedish Service Sector : Applicability, Success Factors and Challenges

Working Lean, i.e. “eliminating non-value activities from work processes by applying a robust set of performance change tools and emphasizing excellence in operations to deliver superior customer service,” has received significant attention and become a concept of interest for businesses, especially during recent years. Fundamentally, the concept of Lean is built on the aims of waste reduction and value creation with keywords such as continuous improvement, quality, and efficiency guiding the process. Lean was originally developed with production in mind, but many in the field argue that its applicability reaches further and holds potential within other contexts, such as service, as well. The purpose of this study is to derive lessons learned from individuals working in the service sector regarding whether or not Lean is applicable in the context of service and to explore what factors and challenges are perceived to influence the likeliness of success. An abductive approach has been pursued by the use of semistructured interviews with employees from different levels within organizations in the Swedish service sector. In addition, an external perspective by interviewing a Lean consultant has been of interest. The data gained has been analysed to identify patterns which have then been searched for in existing literature. The findings provide evidence that Lean is applicable in service. Furthermore, success factors related to the following core categories; employee engagement and competence, having a philosophical approach, leadership, management, implementation, organizational and national culture, and management of variation were identified. Lastly, a misconception of Lean, employee resistance and suboptimization were three challenges found.
Date January 2016
CreatorsKuljancic, Adina, Khalaf, Cecilia, Andersson, Jenny
PublisherInternationella Handelshögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping, IHH, Företagsekonomi, Internationella Handelshögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping, IHH, Företagsekonomi, Internationella Handelshögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping, IHH, Företagsekonomi
Source SetsDiVA Archive at Upsalla University
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeStudent thesis, info:eu-repo/semantics/bachelorThesis, text

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