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Title: Role of organisational culture when shaping a shared service organisation into a lean system
Author: Küppers, Tanja
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 9088
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2016
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The importance of managing organisational culture for the sustainable implementation of lean systems in shared services is of increasing interest to researchers and practitioners. The current state of research demonstrates that companies have failed to establish a sustainable lean system with a virtuous continuous cycle of improvements. People and conflicting organisational cultures are conceived as the predominant reasons for lean failures. This study explains and explores the interdependencies of organisational culture and lean systems in captive shared services with regard to their potential of sustained performance and competitiveness. Hence, the research identifies the organisational cultural attributes and types that are addressed by a lean system, explores how culture management happened during a lean system implementation, and challenges the sustainability of the implemented lean system. So far, research has looked into the topics of organisational culture, shared service organisation, and lean system in isolation. This study is original as it synthesises all 3 topics. As this research places organisational culture influenced by leadership at the centre of its investigation, it critically applies not only Cameron and Quinn’s competing values framework (CVF), but also Martin’s 3 perspectives of culture as well as a synthesis of different relationship frameworks demonstrating the link between leadership, organisational culture, and organisational performance. This study is ground breaking as it critically looks at lean systems and their sustainability through the lens of organisational culture. Drawing on an in-depth case study conducted in a shared service organisation (SSO) of a global service company, this investigation applied a critical realist-based mixed-methods approach with a variety of primary data collection techniques. Different types of secondary data were used, also for the purpose of triangulation. A critical realist approach to thematic analysis was used to identify relevant stratified, institutional mechanisms. By applying a critical realist worldview, this research offers a multilevel understanding of the dynamics, contradictions and complexities when establishing a lean system. As a result, the study reveals that the implementation of lean systems in the service industry is not a linear approach as each instance and stage of culture management is unique. This multidimensional, culture-oriented interpretation, based upon pioneering empirical evidence from a global service company’s SSO, extends and deepens the understanding of the dynamic contradictions and complexity of lean system implementation that both constrain and enable organisational change. Key words: culture, shared services, lean, performance, leanness, lean sustainability, visual management, Competing Values Framework, leadership, mixed-methods, critical realism, culture management, continuous improvement.
Supervisor: Pioch, Elke ; Brook, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture