Digital technologies as lean augmentation: a preliminary study of Japanese automotive manufacturers

Takefumi Mokudai, Martin Schröder, Marvin Müller, Carsten Schaede, Hajo Holst, Robert Sinopoli, Ulrich Jürgens, Gary Herrigel, Katsuki Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores how Japanese automotive manufacturers, whose production systems are characterised by the lean principle, address digital transformation. We conducted case studies of seven Japanese car makers and suppliers to investigate the interplay between lean production and digitalisation. We found that the firms selectively adopted digital technologies to enhance the existing lean production system. We labelled this type of digitalisation 'lean augmentation'. Further, we developed theoretical hypotheses regarding the potential of digitalisation to limit kaizen, the roles of human involvement and organisational coordination in digitalised manufacturing, and the potential risk of lean augmentation being caught by what we term the 'lean trap'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-249
JournalInternational Journal of Automotive Technology and Management
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Digital technologies as lean augmentation: a preliminary study of Japanese automotive manufacturers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this