What Becomes of Lean Manufacturing After It Is Implemented? A Longitudinal Analysis in 2 French Multinational Companies

  • Evelyne MorvanEmail author
  • Willy Buchmann
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 825)


Lean production implementation may lead to intensive work systems and worker health issues. Since lean work situations evolve over time, what factors are likely to steer them later towards more sustainable work systems? This paper is a preliminary attempt to address lean change from a longitudinal perspective. It combines ergonomics methods with processual analyses of change in order to understand: (a) the overall trajectory of the lean change over a period of a few years; and (b) its impact on work activity and worker health. It draws on collected data from prior ergonomics case studies that were supplemented a few years later. It compares two lean manufacturing trajectories, respectively at a Vehicle Equipment Manufacturer (VEM) and at an Aeronautical Manufacturer (AM). Data analysis reveals: firstly (1) a rigid lean change, decided by a multinational group and driven by external experts, then (2) 12 to 18 months later, a redirection (characterized by different natures at the VEM and at the AM), and (3) a lean approach managed and adapted by the company, more flexible (with regard both to method and to objectives). These two illustrative case studies call for replications in different settings, in order to better understand the processes implemented during organizational innovations, so as to identify ways of developing workers, teams and organizations and of consolidating ergonomics diachronic methods of analysis.


Lean Processual analysis Ergonomics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Working Life DepartmentINRSVandœuvreFrance
  2. 2.CNAM CRTDParisFrance

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