טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentEbenstein Ziv Noa
SubjectReconciling the Simultaneous Association of Lean Management
and Innovation with Team's Quality Performance:
A Dialectic Approach
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors PROF. Eitan Naveh
ASSOCIATE PROF. Tal Katz-Navon


Abstract

In order to gain a competitive advantage in today’s business environment, organizations need to be efficient and keep high quality of products and at the same time need to be innovative. Lean management is an approach that helps organizations to keep efficiency and quality of products while innovation involves the implementation and creation of new ideas. Yet, lean management and innovation may present a paradox to organizations, since innovation is associated with possible wastefulness and consumes resources, while lean management highlights waste elimination and order, emphasizes resource saving and thus may harm innovation. Based on the dialectic perspective, we propose that problem-solving, which is a main part of process improvement and presents the proactive task of identifying, analyzing and improving upon existing processes, may bridge between the two conflicting factors when examining their influence on team’s quality performance. Furthermore, we propose that different types of organizations will vary regarding the relationship between lean management and innovation. A total of 402 employees from 53 teams from two organizations (hospital and R&D) participated in the research. As expected, results showed that when lean management and innovation were both high, they impaired teams’ quality performance compared to when only one of them was high and the other was low. However, when problem-solving was also high, it helped improving team’s quality performance compared to when it was low. In addition, the paradox between lean management and innovation was found in hospital wards but not in R&D departments. Theoretical and practical limitations and implications are discussed.