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Lean from an interorganisational perspective: a study of five different interfaces
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration .
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration .
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Lean ur ett interorganisatoriskt perspektiv : en studie av fem olika gränssnitt (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Background: Lean has had a great influence on how companies work today, and both academics and practitioners have admitted its link with superior performance and the ability to create competitive advantage. There is however a widespread confusion of what lean really is and the absence of a clear definition has been highlighted by many researchers within the field. Since the birth of lean, a lot of focus has been on the internal perspective of the concept. Although today with an increased globalization, higher customer demands and a severe competition, the work with lean between companies becomes highly appropriate. Within companies, the processes often work effectively, but it is in the interfaces between companies where a lot of waste and possibilities to improvement exist.

Aim: The purpose is to analyse the companies’ consciousness of lean and to what extent their understanding of lean can influence the effectiveness of the entire value stream. Furthermore, the purpose is to analyse how this consciousness affects the collaboration between a customer and a supplier.

Method: The study has a deductive approach where the starting point has been in the theories within lean, supplier partnership and effectiveness. A multiple case study has been conducted where five different interfaces have been studied. The study has a qualitative approach where the empirical findings come from ten semi-structured interviews.

Result: Our study shows that working with lean interorganisationally helps to create a higher performing value chain. For companies working with lean internally, it is also natural working with lean with the partners. From a lean perspective, effectiveness is defined as a reduction of cost through elimination of waste. By performing VSM, having regular evaluating meetings, sharing forecasts and giving each other insight in inventories, a lot of waste in the interfaces can be reduced. However, to have a well working collaboration, the study shows that a high level of trust and a common view and attitude towards collaboration are necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 77 p.
Keyword [en]
lean, supplier relationship, partnership, lean supply chain, effectiveness
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62245ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--10/00723--SEOAI: diva2:372110
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2010-11-25 Created: 2010-11-24 Last updated: 2010-11-25Bibliographically approved

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