Inderscience Publishers

Lean product development - enabling management factors for waste elimination

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Lean development is a promising approach in new product development (NPD). However, despite the successful application of lean thinking and its principles to manufacturing, the adoption of the lean approach to product development is a quite novel undertaking. In this paper, we develop and test hypotheses pertaining to the elimination of waste, which is one of the major objectives of lean management. In particular, our study focuses on the question: What management factors are enablers for the elimination of waste in the context of NPD? We identified: 1) employee training; 2) coaching; 3) constructive failure treatment as effective means. Furthermore, implications for management practice are considered. Testing our hypotheses, we refer to data from 108 firms in the automotive supplier industry in German-speaking countries, i.e., Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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