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Systemic lean intervention: enhancing lean with community operational research

Ufua, Daniel Ebakoleaneh; Papadopoulos, Thanos; Midgley, Gerald


Daniel Ebakoleaneh Ufua


This paper discusses how the theory and methodology of Community OR can enhance Lean initiatives. We argue that Lean practice can benefit from going beyond just the involvement of organizational stakeholders: local communities can be swept into the process too, with the aim of achieving an environment that is (as far as possible) pollution-free, for the benefit of organizations and their local communities. Our only proviso is that, in the spirit of Community OR, such an initiative must facilitate the meaningful involvement of community representatives, so change is agreed through stakeholder engagements that respect the inputs and framings of these representatives. Organizations should not impose ‘solutions’ on communities. An example of an intervention with a food production company in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria is provided. The paper ends with some reflections on the added value that Community OR can offer Lean practitioners.

Book Type Authored Book
Journal Research memorandum (University of Hull. Business School) ; 98
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Book Title Systemic lean intervention: enhancing lean with community operational research
ISBN 9781906422356
Keywords Boundary critique, Community operational research, Lean, Operational research in developing countries, Problem structuring methods, Systemic intervention, Systems thinking


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