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“Lean” service: in defense of a production‐line approach

“Lean” service: in defense of a production‐line approach The desirability of transferring manufacturing logic and practices to service operations, strongly advocated by Levitt (1972; 1976) in two classic Harvard Business Review articles two decades ago, is now commonly challenged by both service researchers and practitioners. We defend a “production‐line approach to service” by arguing that services can “reindustrialize” by applying revised, progressive manufacturing technologies. We describe how services businesses such as Taco Bell, Southwest Airlines, and Shouldice Hospital have mastered what we call “lean” service ‐ the application of lean manufacturing principles to their own service operations. Overall, services tend to be innovation laggards, compared to manufacturing. Looking ahead, mass customization can be viewed as the convergence of service and manufacturing logic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Service Industry Management Emerald Publishing

“Lean” service: in defense of a production‐line approach

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References (43)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0956-4233
DOI
10.1108/09564239810223510
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The desirability of transferring manufacturing logic and practices to service operations, strongly advocated by Levitt (1972; 1976) in two classic Harvard Business Review articles two decades ago, is now commonly challenged by both service researchers and practitioners. We defend a “production‐line approach to service” by arguing that services can “reindustrialize” by applying revised, progressive manufacturing technologies. We describe how services businesses such as Taco Bell, Southwest Airlines, and Shouldice Hospital have mastered what we call “lean” service ‐ the application of lean manufacturing principles to their own service operations. Overall, services tend to be innovation laggards, compared to manufacturing. Looking ahead, mass customization can be viewed as the convergence of service and manufacturing logic.

Journal

International Journal of Service Industry ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 1998

Keywords: Empowerment; Lean production; Production; Service

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