The effect of environmental complexity and environmental dynamism on lean practices

Arash Azadegan, Pankaj C. Patel, Abouzar Zangoueinezhad, Kevin Linderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasingly manufacturers implement lean practices to improve operational performance. In addition, manufacturers operate in ever more complex and volatile environments. This research investigates the effects of environmental complexity and dynamism on lean operations and lean purchasing practices. It empirically examines these relationships using archival and survey data from 126 manufacturers. The results show that environmental complexity positively moderates the effects of lean operations and lean purchasing on performance. However, environmental dynamism reduces the benefits of lean operations on performance, but enhances the benefits of lean purchasing on performance. Robustness tests further confirm the contingent effects of complexity and dynamism on lean operations and lean purchasing. This research offers a more nuanced understanding of the effect of external environmental context on lean practices, and suggests that practitioners should carefully consider the external environment when implementing different types of lean practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-212
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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