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Beyond the ostensible: an exploration of barriers to lean implementation and sustainability in healthcare

Leite, H., Bateman, N. & Radnor, Z. ORCID: 0000-0002-1624-5729 (2019). Beyond the ostensible: an exploration of barriers to lean implementation and sustainability in healthcare. Production Planning & Control, doi: 10.1080/09537287.2019.1623426


The barriers to implement lean have been well researched and have generated consistent results; this study identifies these as ostensible barriers. There is a dearth of research that focus on understanding the causes of these ostensible barriers. Thus, this study aims to empirically investigate the deeper causes that produce ostensible barriers to implement lean in emergency areas of the healthcare. To achieve this aim, the paper draws on rich, qualitative data from four different sources of data, using exploratory case studies as the main approach. Undertaking thematic analysis, six main underlying barriers emerge as the root cause of ostensible barriers. The results suggest that addressing each of the underlying barriers in healthcare is likely to support lean implementation and sustainability, by reducing the impact of restraining forces that come from stakeholders and the public healthcare system.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning & Control on 11 June 2019, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Lean production, lean healthcare, lean implementation, barriers, public healthcare
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School
Presidents's Portfolio
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