The paper analyses differences between “lean” and its sister concept “Toyota management system (TMS)” by drawing out deep-rooted theories of production within these two streams of literature. The paper argues that such deep-rooted beliefs should be the first target for organizational transformation as these beliefs provide an important contextual layer for any attempts to transfer organizational practices from one organization to another. Examples of implications in relation to translation are sketched out.


Lean TPS/TMS translation theory production philosophy 


  1. 1.
    Hines, P., Holwe, M., Rich, N.: Learning to evolve - A review of contemporary lean thinking. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 24, 994–1011 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Liker, J.K., Fruin, W.M., Adler, P.S.: Bringing Japanese Management Systems to the United States. In: Liker, J.K., Fruin, W.M., Adler, P.S. (eds.) Remade in America; Transplanting and Transforming Japanese Management Systems, Oxford University Press, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shah, R., Ward, P.T.: Lean manufacturing: context, practice bundles, and performance. Journal of Operations Management 21, 129–149 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chan, J.S., Samson, D.A., Sohal, A.S.: An Integrative Model of Japanese Manufacturing Techniques. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 10, 37–56 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    de Treville, S., Antonakis, J.: Could lean production job design be intrinsically motivating? Contextual, configurational, and levels-of-analysis issues. Journal of Operations Management 24, 99–123 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lozeau, D., Langley, A., Denis, J.-L.: The corruption of managerial techniques by organizations. Human Relations 55, 537–564 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Spencer, B.: Models of organization and total quality management: A comparison and critical evaluation. The Academy of Management Review 19, 446–471 (1994)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gustavsen, B., Hofmaier, B., Wikman, A., Philips, M.E.: Concept-driven Development and the Organization of the Process of Change: An Evaluation of the Swedish Work Life Fund. John Benjamins Publishing Company (1996)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Røvik, K.A.: Trender og translasjoner: ideer som former det 21. århundrets organisasjon. Universitetsforlaget, Oslo (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Spear, S.J.: Just-in-Time in practice at Toyota: Rules-in-Use for building selfdiagnostic, adaptive work-systems. Working paper 02-043, Harvard Business School (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koskela, L.: An exploration towards a production theory and its application to construction. Doctoral dissertation, Helsinki University of Technology (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hopp, W.J., Spearman, M.L.: Factory Physics: Foundations of Manufacturing Management. McGraw-Hill, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    de Treville, S.: Disruption, learning, and system improvement in just-in-time manufacturing. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University (1987)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Spear, S., Bowen, H.K.: Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System. Harvard Business Review 77, 97–106 (1999)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Spear, S.J.: The High Velocity Edge, How market leaders leverage operational excellence to beat the competition. McGraw-Hill, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pil, F.K., MacDuffie, J.P.: Transferring Competitive Advantage Across Borders. A Study of Japanese Auto Transplants in North America. In: Liker, J.K., Fruin, W.M., Adler, P.S. (eds.) Remade in America; Transplanting and Transforming Japanese Management Systems, Oxford University Press, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Adler, P.S.: Hybridization, Human Resource Management at Two Toyota Transplants. IbidGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pettersen, J.: Translating Lean Production, From Managerial Discourse to Organizational Practice. Doctoral dissertantion, Linköping University (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rikke V. Matthiesen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Industrial ProductionAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations