Lean in healthcare: Engagement in development, job satisfaction or exhaustion?

Pernilla Lindskog, Jens Hemphälä, Jörgen Eklund, Andrea Eriksson


Conclusions about implementing the management concept lean in healthcare are contradictory and longitudinal studies are scarce. In particular, little is known of how working conditions contribute to the sustainability of lean in healthcare. The aim of this article is to identify to what extent lean tools (visual follow-up boards, standardised work, 5S [housekeeping], and value stream mapping [VSM]) promote working conditions for employees and managers in healthcare organisations (outcomes: engagement in development, job satisfaction and exhaustion), while considering the context (i.e., job resources and job demands) and aspects of the implementation process. A longitudinal quantitative study was conducted that involved employees and managers in two hospitals and one municipality (n = 448). Applying the job demands-resources model, multiple linear regression models were used. VSM, standardised work and 5S promoted employees and managers’ working conditions when supported by job resources. When no support was provided, visual follow-up boards were inhibiting employees and managers’ job satisfaction. VSM and standardised work were seen as central lean tools. In this sample, the application of lean cannot be considered sustainable as employees and managers’ working conditions deteriorated under the implementation of lean.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v5n5p91


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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