Lean and Sustainability: How Can They Reinforce Each Other?
Rudolphus Emanuel Gort, MBA Management Project Report, TiasNimbas Business School, 2008
The purpose of this dissertation is to find out whether sustainability can introduce lean to companies in situations other than a crisis. The project also looks at how lean, as a proven management system, can support sustainability in becoming economically more attractive.
This dissertation starts with an extensive literature review, first about lean, followed by sustainability. It looks at: definitions, reasons why, how to, and barriers. Then a combined literature review focuses on: the communalities, potential conflicts, and how lean and sustainability can support one another. Each chapter concludes with a conceptual framework where findings are summed.
The findings show that lean is mainly used for its practical guidance, by using its tools and techniques, while also helping to make the broad concept of sustainability more tangible. However, without adopting lean’s long-term philosophic base, its utilisation remains superficial and is less likely to have a long lasting impact.
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