To see and understand Lean as a management system, as well as a willingness within management to practice the desired approach, are often described as central for Lean implementation and development. To achieve this, a strategic, system-wide approach to Lean development may be required. Such an approach would require cross-functional cooperation in driving improvements that affect organizational interdependencies. Cross-functional operation is a key factor for organizational learning, where learning is said to require individuals interacting for a specific purpose, learning together by trying to solve tasks and to improve performance. This goes beyond “team learning,” since by its organizational focus it addresses the management of interdependencies between organizational functions as well as among departments and hierarchical levels. Toyota, a company linked to the Lean concept, can often be found described as a learning organization. Its success is said to be closely linked to its ability to generate and manage organizational learning. Organizational learning emphasizes cross-functional social practice as the way to learn and develop. This paper, based on an explorative case study at a global manufacturing company, assesses prerequisites for cross-functional alignment and cooperation within a larger international production company. The question for the study was how managers describe obstacles and facilitators for cross-functional interaction for Lean development. Descriptions of obstacles and facilitators for cross-functional interaction given by managers point to the importance of a controlled management turnover and induction training, as well as formally established target conditions and collective performance management. Further conclusions are that organizational learning theory can be used to further understand requirements for Lean management by highlighting the importance of how and by whom daily steering or performance management and deviation handling is set up and performed. The results stress the importance of routines and composition of local management teams and their approach to shared responsibility and target achievement.
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY -- Mechanical Engineering -- Other Mechanical Engineering (hsv//eng)
TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER -- Maskinteknik -- Annan maskinteknik (hsv//swe)