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Quality Management in Swedish Industry: Concepts, Practices and Knowledge Base
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, HELIX. Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9155-189X
2009 (English)In: The 12th international QMOD conference, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to identify different strategies in the application of Quality Management in Swedish industry. This purpose is divided into two questions; (1) what kind of management practices are applied in relation to which management concepts and (2) where do the organizations turn to seek knowledge about the applied concepts.

Methodology/Approach: A questionnaire survey was performed, where production managers in Swedish industry were requested to rate their rate of application of various management concepts and practices as well as their use of various information sources. Principal Component Analysis was applied to find patterns in the data, and cluster analysis was performed on the principal component loadings to identify groups of information sources, concepts and practices.

Findings: The analysis shows that three distinctive approaches to Quality Management can be identified, based on TQM/Six Sigma, TPS/Lean Production and ISO9000 respectively. In terms of seeking knowledge, there are also three distinct strategies: (1) a formal approach, focusing on external sources of information, such as university courses and professional networks; (2) an informal approach, focusing on easily accessible information in journals and the Internet; (3) a consultant based approach, seeking information mainly from management consultants. The consultant based approach seems to apply to all management concepts, whereas the two other approaches seem to be independent of the choice of concept.

Implications: This paper provides an empirical basis for classification of management concepts and practices, thereby providing support for practitioners aiming to select and implement a strategy for organizational change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Keyword [en]
Lean, TQM, Six Sigma, ISO9000, Knowledge base, Principal Component Analysis, Cluster analysis
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18423OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-18423DiVA: diva2:219064
Available from: 2009-05-26 Created: 2009-05-26 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Translating Lean Production: From Managerial Discourse to Organizational Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Translating Lean Production: From Managerial Discourse to Organizational Practice
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Översättning av Lean Production : från managementdiskurs till organisatorisk praktik
Abstract [en]

The majority of organizational change efforts end in failure. These failures can often be ascribed to lack of understanding of the translation processes that accompany the implementation of management concepts. Translation becomes evident when the initial ambitions of an implementation process are changed as they are communicated through the organization, often leading to unwanted results.

This thesis deals with the translation of management concepts. The ambition is to contribute to the body of knowledge that is concerned with this theoretical direction through demonstrating how the currently dominating management concept Lean Production is translated as it is passed between contexts.

The thesis is based on three studies of management concepts at various levels of abstraction. The first study is based on a review of the major literature on Lean Production. The second study is based on a survey among Swedish production managers on their application of management methods and concepts. The third study comprises a series of interviews within a large Swedish industrial organization, focusing on how Lean Production has been translated during the implementation process.

The results show that Lean Production is far from well defined or unequivocal. There is always room for translation as the concept is passed between actors within an organization. It is therefore unreasonable to expect the concept to provide certain results. The results are determined by the way the concept is interpreted and translated within the organization that seeks to implement it. It is argued that insufficient translation competence will increase the risk of an uncontrolled and potentially ineffective translation process, leading to unexpected and undesirable results.

Through combining these results with existing theories within the management field, the author presents a tentative model for analyzing the translation of management concepts all the way from the general managerial discourse to the practice that can be observed at the factory floor of a company. It is proposed that this model may be used as a conceptual framework for further studies of the translation of management concepts.

Abstract [sv]

Majoriteten av organisatoriska förändringsinsatser misslyckas. Dessa misslyckanden kan ofta tillskrivas bristande kunskap om de översättningsprocesser som hänger samman med implementering av managementkoncept. Översättningarna blir synliga när de initiala ambitionerna i implementeringsprocessen förändras efter hand som de kommuniceras genom organisationen, vilket ofta leder till oönskade resultat.

Ambitionen med denna avhandling är att ge ett kunskapsbidrag till teorier om översättning av managementkoncept genom att demonstrera hur det för tiden dominerande managementkonceptet Lean Production översätts när det passerar gränserna mellan olika kontexter.

Avhandlingen är baserad på tre studier av managementkoncept på olika abstraktionsnivåer. Den första studien grundar sig på en genomgång av den centrala litteraturen om Lean Production. Den andra studien bygger på en enkätundersökning bland svenska produktionschefer och rör deras tillämpning av managementmetoder och koncept. Den tredje studien omfattar en serie intervjuer inom ett större svenskt industriföretag, där fokus ligger på hur Lean Production har översatts under implementeringsprocessen.

Resultaten visar att Lean Production är långt ifrån väldefinierat eller otvetydigt. Det finns alltid utrymme för översättning när konceptet kommuniceras mellan aktörer inom och mellan organisationer. Det är därför orimligt att förvänta sig att konceptet ska leverera särskilda resultat. Resultaten kommer snarare från det sätt som konceptet tolkas och översätts inom organisationen som avser att införa det i verksamheten. Det framhålls att bristande översättningskompetens kommer att öka risken för okontrollerad och potentiellt verkningslös översättningsprocess, vilket kan medföra oväntade och oönskade resultat.

Genom att kombinera de empiriska resultaten från de tre ovan nämnda studierna med teorier inom managementområdet presenteras en tentativ modell för hur översättning av managementkoncept kan studeras från den generella managementdiskursen till den praktik som kan observeras på verkstadsgolvet inom ett företag. Det föreslås att modellen kan användas som ett konceptuellt ramverk för vidare studier av översättning av managementkoncept.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 60 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1402
Series
Dissertations from HELIX Graduate School, 4
Keyword
Lean Production, Translation, Implementation, Organizational change, Lean Production, översättning, implementering, organisationsförändring
National Category
Business Administration Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18424 (URN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2009:10 (Local ID)978-91-7393-630-9 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2009:10 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-Lic 2009:10 (OAI)
Presentation
2009-06-04, ACAS, hus A, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-29 Created: 2009-05-26 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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