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The Influence of Organizational Culture on Lean Implementation in Healthcare

25 January 2019


A stable organizational culture is necessary to sustain operations in healthcare organizations. In this paper, I explore the value of the Toyota Production System (TPS), also known as Lean Management, in healthcare organizations. Extant literature and empirical evidence have shown that lean has the potential to positively change the culture of a healthcare organization because it creates a foundational level of “Lean Thinking.” That said, my goals are to determine whether: 1) there is resistance to Lean implementation; and 2) a positive effect occurs in an organizational culture with a Lean environment and the specific mechanisms of this change. This literature review examines Lean thinking with lean resistance and opportunities, the idea of culture capability, and a new concept referred to as “systems approach.” Three views on lean thinking in healthcare are prevalent in the literature; 1) the idea that every person in the organization is of equal importance; 2) arguments for success are factors of engagement; and 3) resistance to Lean’s implementation. A more comprehensive review of this literature is needed to understand the topic, subtopics and questions.


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