As you may know, I have been working for the last 13 years to understand the causes of why most executives resist or reject Lean management. My research has taken me down pathways that have never been reported in the Lean literature, culminating in three books published since 2018:
- The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management: How Tradition Prevails and What to Do About It
- Irrational Institutions: Business, Its Leaders, and The Lean Movement
- Management Mysterium: The Quest for Progress
There was another small bit of research that I wanted to write about to answer one more set of lingering questions: Why does Lean management remain popular with the staff of salaried professionals when most top company leaders have little or no real interest in Lean management? Why have so many of them joined the Lean movement? Why are they so committed to Lean? And how do they derive satisfaction from their association with Lean management given that progress is so difficult to achieve?
The research paper below examines the Lean movement and develops a social theory that answers the above questions (click on the image below to read or download the paper). Like the above books, it will make people think. In addition, some will be annoyed, some will be upset with me, some will agree, some will disagree, and others will ignore it. But a few will make changes based on what they learned. I invite you to share your thoughts with me.