Translating Lean Production: From Managerial Discourse to Organizational Practice

The majority of organizational change efforts end in failure. These failures can often be ascribed to lack of understanding of the translation processes that accompany the implementation of management concepts. Translation becomes evident when the initial ambitions of an implementation process are changed as they are communicated through the organization, often leading to unwanted results.This thesis deals with the translation of management concepts. The ambition is to contribute to the body of knowledge that is concerned with this theoretical direction through demonstrating how the currently dominating management concept Lean Production is translated as it is passed between contexts.The thesis is based on three studies of management concepts at various levels of abstraction…


Background and previous research
Purpose of the thesis
Outline of the thesis
Theoretical framework
Theories of translation
Action programs and inscriptions
Models for analyzing translation
A historical overview of the management discourse
Translation at the interorganizational level
The institutional perspective
Management fashion
The effectiveness of change concepts
Translation at the intraorganizational level
Failure, decoupling and loosely coupled systems
Overview of appended papers
Research approach
A tentative model for the translation of management concepts
The proposed model
Traversing the model – an example of application
A philosophical positioning of the thesis
Some dichotomies in the philosophy of science
What and how do we want to know?
What and how can we know?
An eclectic approach
Reflection on the research approach
Reflection on results
Future research

Author: Pettersen, Jostein

Source: Linkoping University

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