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Systemic lean intervention: enhancing lean with community operational research

Ufua, Daniel E.; Papadopoulos, Thanos; Midgley, Gerald

Authors

Daniel E. Ufua

Thanos Papadopoulos

Abstract

This paper explores how theory and methodology from Community OR can enhance Lean initiatives. We are driven by the paucity of the literature discussing the involvement of non-obvious stakeholders, particularly local communities, in the adoption of Lean. We present a project undertaken with a food production company in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, where we employed a Systemic Intervention methodology to integrate theory and methods from Community OR with those from Lean. Based on this example, we argue that the inclusion of community representatives is necessary if Lean waste-reduction initiatives are to benefit both organizations and their local communities. Our only proviso is that, in the spirit of Community OR, the involvement of community representatives must be meaningful, so change is agreed through stakeholder engagements that respect their inputs and framings, and do not result in organizations imposing ‘solutions’ on communities. The paper ends with some reflections on the added value that Community OR can offer Lean practitioners.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 1, 2018
Journal European journal of operational research
Print ISSN 0377-2217
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 268
Pages 1134-1148
Institution Citation Ufua, D. E., Papadopoulos, T., & Midgley, G. (2018). Systemic lean intervention: enhancing lean with community operational research. European journal of operational research, 268, 1134-1148. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2017.08.004
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2017.08.004
Keywords Community operational research; Lean, Boundary critique; Operational research in developing countries; Problem structuring methods; Systems thinking
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221717307166
Copyright Statement © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in European journal of operational research, 2018. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.

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Copyright Statement
© 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/




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