“In manufacturing productivity is king.”

This is a video summary of Implementing corporate lean programs: The effect of management control practices, a paper by Netland, Torbjørn H., Jason D. Schloetzer, and Kasra Ferdows.

The authors pose a simple question – what is the best way to establish a successful lean programme? What actions should managers undertake in order to contribute to the success of their lean programme?

To find their answer, the researchers travelled five continents and visited thirty-six factories, conducting surveys, interviews and performance analyses. They assessed five approaches, namely:

  • employing Lean specialists,
  • how is progress being reported (complete workforce involvement or audits), and
  • how are workers motivated (with or without monetary prize).

They found that having a core team of lean specialists, involving everybody in progress reporting, and giving praise, as well as symbolic rewards, is beneficial. Lean audits had limited positive impact, and it was only for organisations which are at the very beginning of their Lean journey. Monetary prizes had negative impact, and should be avoided at all costs.

Want to know more?

Dr. Torbjørn Netland wrote two posts which go into more details regarding their findings:


Netland, T.H., Schloetzer, J.D. and Ferdows, K., 2015. Implementing corporate lean programs: the effect of management control practices. Journal of Operations Management, 36, pp.90-102.

Video produced by Research Square: researchsquare.com

This post was originally written for The Lean Presentation.