Challenges to Lean Construction Implementation in South Africa

  • Thabiso MonyaneEmail author
  • Fidelis Emuze
  • Bankole Awuzie
  • Gerrit Crafford
Conference paper


Efforts of the lean construction could prove to be highly worthwhile for the South African construction sector. Evidently exposed continuous poor performance of projects exhibit that the concept of lean thinking would push the construction industry’s pursuit to advance quality and efficiency. While numerous countries internationally gained large benefits by adopting Lean Construction (LC) concepts, there still seems to be inadequate application of lean in South African construction industry, over the last two decades. A number of structural and cultural barriers appear to be militating against the successful implementation of lean construction. By not recognizing the factors that contribute to the successful application of LC, organizations will not be able to know what improvement efforts need to be made, where these efforts should be focused, or which efforts could obtain best results. For this reason, this study sought to identify and assess the possible barriers to the successful implementation of LC in South Africa. Grounded on a systematic literature review, followed by semi-structured interviews with Lean experts in the country, a number of barriers were acknowledged as significant barriers. Further investigation discovered that policy changes and cultural change are some of the barriers exposed as significant. The results of this study could be employed to help researchers, practitioners and companies in South African construction industry to focus their attention and resources on the significant issues, crucial to support the successful implementation of LC.


Lean Challenges Barriers Implementation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thabiso Monyane
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fidelis Emuze
    • 1
  • Bankole Awuzie
    • 1
  • Gerrit Crafford
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Built EnvironmentCentral University of Technology, FSBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Quantity SurveyingNelson Mandela UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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