Lean out of the mainstream: the reproduction of Lean Manufacturing worldwide – from the earliest evidences to the uncolonized lands

Larissa Cecília Domingues, Tiago Fonseca Albuquerque Cavalcanti Sigahi, Patrícia Saltorato

Abstract


The diffusion of Lean Manufacturing (LM) took place in heterogeneous ways worldwide due to the differences in the industrial/economic development of nations. Recent studies have pointed out a gap in the literature regarding the study of this process in transition economies. This article sought to provide an in depth, broad, comparative analysis of the reproduction of LM in three different contexts: developed, developing and transition economies. A narrative literature research was conducted aiming to emphasize the specificities and social, economic and political factors that shaped this process in the countries studied. In the developed economies, LM is consolidated and legitimized by academic and corporate actors; in the developing economies, LM found a way mainly through subsidiaries, in a context of exacerbated competition after the economic opening; and in the economies in transition, LM is reduced to a managerial component and theoretical concepts. By synthesizing high impact research, as well as articulating classical and recent studies, this work may contribute to the guidance of future studies in uncolonized lands, where LM practices are little known and/or remain asleep.

Keywords


Lean Manufacturing; Transition economies; Lean Production; Just in Time

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