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Title: Managing lean projects: Understanding the structures of lean production
Authors: Tan, W. 
Keywords: Culture
Lean production
Lean project management
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Tan, W. (2011). Managing lean projects: Understanding the structures of lean production. International Journal of Construction Management 11 (3) : 67-78. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess problems with lean production (LP) in the wake of recent worldwide recalls of millions of cars by automakers at the forefront of LP. The paper defines LP more broadly than the literature to include the structures of culture and political economy. It uses Toyota as a case study to identify the structural weaknesses of the entire lean production system beyond the shop floor. The main findings are, firstly, that the Toyota system is not well understood, and often misunderstood, with respect to its possible political-economic and social conditions of existence. This implies that the system cannot be easily replicated elsewhere. Secondly, changing structural conditions, particularly in the labor market and industrial system, have encouraged Toyota to introduce slower lines of production for older and female workers, use buffers to overcome more frequent production halts, and reduce the design cycle. Coupled with rising demand for its vehicles and the inevitable use of accelerated testing of complex systems, the recent spate of quality problems is not unexpected. These findings are of value to project managers who wish to obtain a deeper insight into the structural problems of LP and project management.
Source Title: International Journal of Construction Management
ISSN: 15623599
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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