Lean management in de bouw, een wisselwerking tussen de organisatiestructuur en –cultuur
Eerd, T.P. van
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The economic crisis of 2007 shocked and affected the entire world economy and caused a global recession. The profitability of companies in all business sectors dropped and a myriad of bankruptcies were filed (CBS, 2010a). At the start of 2010, economies worldwide recovered, as did the Dutch economy. However, even today, one sector is still in contraction: construction (Van de Wal et al., 2011). The current managerial principles prove to be insufficient and a need for a structural change is apparent. The lean management philosophy is seen as an effective way to achieve better results in construction (Koskela, 1992). This study sets out to obtain empirical evidence for the effectiveness of lean management in construction by comparing housing projects following the lean principles with traditionally conducted housing projects. Within the lean projects we distinguish the use of two main elements of the lean philosophy – the use of lean tools to change the organizational structure and the use of lean teams to change the organizational culture (Garvin, 1998). This way we can discern the most influential factors for success. Administrative data of 33 projects, all produced in the last one and a half years by construction company ‘BAM Woningbouw’, are linked to aggregated project member data, derived from a survey that was conducted for this inquiry. We used a multiple linear regression analysis with several interactions to empirically test our hypotheses. We find that the use of lean management in construction leads to an increased profitability. Both the use of lean tools and the use of lean teams are important for obtaining the best results. As the use of lean tools is obvious when implementing lean management in construction, particularly the added value of using lean teams to realize a change in the organizational culture is an important issue in the process of recovery from the economic crisis.