PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to test the reliability and validity of the qualitative section of Lean Assessment Tool (LAT) starting from the point where a reliable and valid tool is needed to measure increasing leanness level of business organizations.Design/methodology/approachThe questionnaire used in this study included the qualitative component of LAT developed by Pakdil and Leonard (2014). The unit of the study was individual employees who work in manufacturing firms participating in this study. This study focused on the data collected from three firms that operate in Turkey and two firms that operate in the USA. The total respondents from Turkish firms were 263 employees, while the 205 employees responded from US firms.FindingsExploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were completed to determine valid and reliable factors that compose LAT’s qualitative component. The statistical analysis showed five distinct factors, namely process, delivery, quality, customer satisfaction and human resource. In addition, the fuzzy logic showed appropriate loadings to make the argument for its use in analysis of the LAT.Research limitations/implicationsThis study moves the debate about the success or failure of lean efforts forward. With the debates about lean and its potential, it is necessary to have a scientific determination of success and the areas where further work in the firm is needed. Such measurement is the backbone of management progress, and the authors believe that this paper is useful. Second, the necessity of reliable and valid tools of lean assessment is obvious in the literature and practice. The findings of this study help academicians find reliable and valid tools to measure lean success both in the literature and practice.Practical implicationsManagerial implications include the development of a way to assess the areas of success and areas requiring further work. Failure to measure success and needs for further work has been the reason for the questionable results found in investigating lean implementation efforts. If there is no way to determine what is needed to improve lean efforts, they will be seen as failure, even if part of the implementation has been successful. This tool has been found to be potentially useful for evaluation of these crucial and time-consuming efforts.Originality/valueIn this study, the qualitative section of LAT has been validated. The results demonstrated that, based on two countries’ data sets, the scale was found to be reliable and valid within itself and across sociocultural boundaries.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 5, 2018
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