Author(s)

Gary VanceFollow

Date

5-2017

Department

School of Business

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration

Chair

David Duby

Keywords

Leadership, Leadership Behavior, Lean, Lean Implementation, Multi-National

Disciplines

Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | E-Commerce | Human Resources Management | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods

Abstract

Increasing global competition has led many business leaders to implement Lean methodologies to drive operational improvement and deliver increased customer satisfaction. However, not all business leaders have been successful in sustaining Lean implementation with the majority failing within the first three years. In addition, the challenge related to implementing Lean in multi-national companies is exacerbated by the cultural differences associated with the various business units involved. Recent research has suggested that business leaders who have sustained their Lean implementations have utilized specific behaviors to do so. Therefore, this study explored how leaders of multi-national companies utilized specific behaviors to sustain the implementation of Lean methodologies. Research for this study utilized case study methodology to investigate how three multi-national companies have sustained Lean implementation for more than three years. This approach consisted of open-ended interviews with leaders, on-site observations, and document reviews to develop a rich base of data for analysis. The findings of this study explain how leaders sustained the implementation of Lean. Also, the associated discussion explores the implications of these findings for the contemporary Lean leader and offers recommendations for future research and application. The intent of the recommendations is to contribute to the improvement of the rate at which Lean implementations are sustained.