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A literature review of empirical research methodology in lean manufacturing

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 29 July 2014, Vol.34(8), pp.1080-1122 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    A literature review of empirical research methodology in lean manufacturing
  • Author: Vamsi Krishna Jasti, Naga ; Kodali, Rambabu
  • Found In: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 29 July 2014, Vol.34(8), pp.1080-1122 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Management Science & Operations ; Operations/Process Management ; Literature Review ; Empirical Research ; Lean Manufacturing ; Just in Time (Jit) ; Engineering ; Business
  • Language: English
  • Description: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on empirical research in lean manufacturing (LM). It provides a critical assessment of empirical research methodology of 178 research articles published from 1990 to 2009. Design/methodology/approach – The article reviewed a set of 178 empirical research articles in LM research with respect to empirical research design and its related facets. The 236 empirical research articles which are published in 70 journals during 1990-2009 are collected from four major management science publishers, namely, Emerald Online, Science Direct, Springer Link and Taylor & Francis. In total 178 research articles published in 24 journals are selected for critical review of empirical research methodology in LM. The approach for the critical review of 178 empirical research articles in LM is based on empirical research approach given by Flynn et al. (1990). The critical review discusses the current status of empirical research in LM and future directions. Findings – It is concluded from the analysis of the results that: the number of empirical research articles in LM is increasing at a faster pace than ever before; theory building and theory verification articles are equally advanced; the researchers have also unexplored various aspects of empirical research such as importance of triangulation of data, alternate research designs other than survey and case studies; contextual focus is mostly on the manufacturing industry; more focus required on other aspects of empirical research such as collecting the samples from developing and undeveloped countries, larger sample size, longitudinal data collection methods. Finally, it concludes that there is a need of LM frameworks, which gives the stepwise process to remove all kinds of wastes from any organization. Originality/value – To the knowledge of the authors, it is the first of its kind attempt to critically review the empirical research articles in LM. The review analysis entirely focussed on descriptive statistics of empirical research in LM. The sample size is one of the unique features of this research as the number of shortlisted articles is 178 in 24 journals published over a time span of 20 years (1990-2009).
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0144-3577 ; E-ISSN: 1758-6593 ; DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-04-2012-0169

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