Exploring the applicability and viability of lean within professional association membership based organizations

by Shaw, Angelique L., D.B.A., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 175 pages; 3616048


The purpose of the study was to explore Lean’s applicability and viability within the professional association membership based organization (PAMBO) environment, as well as ascertain what can be learned from a Lean implementation within a PAMBO. The five principles of Lean are to identify value from the end customer’s perspective, map the value stream eliminating identified waste therein, ensure the value created steps produce a smooth flow to the customer, customer established value pull from upstream activity, and the continuous re-creation of the aforementioned until perfection is reached. The transference of Lean principles in the service industry has been indicated as a means of increasing productivity, efficiency, and quality; and, reducing costs. Although sharing some similarities, there are distinct operational and infrastructural differences between the service sector and the PAMBO. Prior to the study, there existed no known scholarly studies of the applicability or viability of Lean within a PAMBO environment. Qualitative, single holistic, exploratory case study methodology was employed to explore and evaluate Lean’s applicability and viability using a mixture of inductive and deductive reasoning, involving first pass, in vivo coding, and axial coding analysis applied to a PAMBO located in the Midwest. The study concludes that while the first four Lean principles proved applicable within a PAMBO environment, the fifth principle still needs to be tested. While Lean proved viable where measured and tested in two of eight Lean events, study results for Lean’s viability within a PAMBO are inconclusive due to either the lack of testing or the lack of implementation of intended outcomes. Some notable lessons learned was the importance of empowerment being a truth, communication is an area of opportunity, and that Lean allowed for the breaking down of internal silos.

AdviserJames R. Morgan
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Social research; Management
Publication Number3616048

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