• Evaluating the impact of lean practices on environmental performance: evidences from five manufacturing companies

      Dieste, M; Panizzolo, R; Garza-Reyes, J. A.; University of Derby; University of Padova, Italy (Taylor and Francis, 2019-10-29)
      Previous evidence suggests that both lean and green production paradigms are focused on waste reduction and that lean practices help organizations to enhance sustainability objectives, and particularly environmental performance. However, the impact of lean practices on the environment is still unclear. This study therefore aims to analyse the relationship between lean and environmental performance in manufacturing with a strong empirical focus. This research was conducted in two main stages: first, an extensive review of the relevant literature was carried out, followed by a multiple case study analysis conducted in five manufacturing companies. Onsite data were collected from the firms during a five years’ time span of research and developing semi-structured interviews. Furthermore, a cross-case analysis was carried out to map the results. Findings indicate that the environmental performance of the companies analysed is generally enhanced in the long-term after the implementation of lean. Moreover, the results from the multiple case study suggest that the environmental performance of the firms under analysis is mainly improved by using JIT and TQM practices in a lean transformation context. The research findings provide further results remarking the possible negative impact of practices such as Kanban deliveries, 5S and TPM on various environmental performance indicators.
    • A systematic literature review regarding the influence of lean manufacturing on firms’ financial performance

      Dieste, M; Panizzolo, R; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; University of Padova, Vicenza, Italy; Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-04-07)
      The lean philosophy has demonstrated its effectiveness to improve firms’ operational performance. However, the impact of lean practices on financial performance is still unclear due to the poor understanding of the link between operational and financial measures and the conflictive results obtained by previous research. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review to understand whether lean companies have improved their financial performance. Moreover, this article aims to uncover research gaps in the literature and examine which time spans of research have been considered to analyse both the degree of lean implementation and the measurement of financial outcomes. A systematic literature review has been conducted to identify peer-reviewed articles that analyse the effect of the lean production paradigm on the financial performance measures of manufacturing companies. Then, the identified articles were processed using a combination of descriptive and content analyses methods to draw new conclusions, uncover gaps and find novel paths for research. Various authors indicate that lean initiatives lead to an enhancement of financial performance measures. JIT and TQM lean practice bundles are suggested as the best enablers of financial performance in terms of sales and profit. In contrast, according to some scholars, lean does not necessarily improve companies’ financial results if it is not properly implemented. Despite several studies have focused on analysing the effects of lean on performance, only a small part of the literature has addressed the study of the effects of lean practices on financial performance metrics. The originality of this study lies in the investigation of the connections between lean practices and financial performance measures found in the literature. The outcome is the identification of various possible positive impacts of some lean practices on financial metrics.