Purpose: Lean manufacturing has been demonstrated to increase operations and economic performance, but its impact on environmental and social performance is unclear. Our primary goal is to understand how cross-functional executive involvement and worker involvement in the formulation and implementation of operations strategy support lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment. To do so, we investigate vertical, horizontal and action alignment. Methodology: An inductive case study methodology was employed. Such theoretical elaboration is appropriate when extending existing theory (i.e., operations strategies and sustainability development). Evidence was drawn from 10 cross-industry case studies. Within and cross-case analyses were performed. Findings: The results demonstrate that cross-functional executive involvement positively affects vertical and horizontal alignment in lean manufacturing and bundles (Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, Total Preventive Maintenance and Human Resources Management) and environmental and social goals and practices. Specifically, the study reveals the different impacts of operations executive involvement and sustainability-related roles. Additionally, worker involvement positively affects the action alignment of lean manufacturing and sustainability. Practical implications: This research provides guidance to practitioners regarding how different organisational models lead to different levels of lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment and performance. Originality: This research contributes to the operations strategy and sustainability development literature, providing evidence regarding the mechanisms supporting the alignment of lean manufacturing and sustainability. In so doing, a complete picture of vertical, horizontal and action alignment is presented.

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Longoni, Annachiara; Cagliano , Raffaella

Cross-functional executive involvement and worker involvement in lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment

03/2015
Purpose: Lean manufacturing has been demonstrated to increase operations and economic performance, but its impact on environmental and social performance is unclear. Our primary goal is to understand how cross-functional executive involvement and worker involvement in the formulation and implementation of operations strategy support lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment. To do so, we investigate vertical, horizontal and action alignment. Methodology: An inductive case study methodology was employed. Such theoretical elaboration is appropriate when extending existing theory (i.e., operations strategies and sustainability development). Evidence was drawn from 10 cross-industry case studies. Within and cross-case analyses were performed. Findings: The results demonstrate that cross-functional executive involvement positively affects vertical and horizontal alignment in lean manufacturing and bundles (Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, Total Preventive Maintenance and Human Resources Management) and environmental and social goals and practices. Specifically, the study reveals the different impacts of operations executive involvement and sustainability-related roles. Additionally, worker involvement positively affects the action alignment of lean manufacturing and sustainability. Practical implications: This research provides guidance to practitioners regarding how different organisational models lead to different levels of lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment and performance. Originality: This research contributes to the operations strategy and sustainability development literature, providing evidence regarding the mechanisms supporting the alignment of lean manufacturing and sustainability. In so doing, a complete picture of vertical, horizontal and action alignment is presented.
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Cross-functional executive involvement and worker involvement in lean manufacturing and sustainability alignment
Longoni, Annachiara; Cagliano , Raffaella
International Journal of Operations & Production Management
Vol. 35, n 9, 03/2015, p. 1332 - 1358

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