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Local adaption and central confusion: decentralized strategies for public service Lean implementation


  • Marte D.-Q. Holmemo
  • Jonas A. Ingvaldsen


There are a number of arguments for implementing public service Lean in a decentralized fashion, characterized by employee participation and local adaptions of the concept. This paper reports on a longitudinal case study of decentralized Lean implementation in a large Norwegian public service provider. The analysis points to unintended consequence of communication and co-ordination difficulties. The authors suggest ways of striking a reasonable balance between centralized and decentralized strategies of Lean implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Marte D.-Q. Holmemo & Jonas A. Ingvaldsen, 2018. "Local adaption and central confusion: decentralized strategies for public service Lean implementation," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 13-20, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmmg:v:38:y:2018:i:1:p:13-20
    DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2018.1389493

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Colin Hales, 1999. "Leading Horses to Water? The Impact of Decentralization on Managerial Behaviour," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 831-851, November.
    2. Torben Juul Andersen, 2004. "Integrating Decentralized Strategy Making and Strategic Planning Processes in Dynamic Environments," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(8), pages 1271-1299, December.
    3. Norani Nordin & Baba Md Deros & Dzuraidah Abdul Wahab & Mohd Nizam Ab. Rahman, 2012. "A framework for organisational change management in lean manufacturing implementation," International Journal of Services and Operations Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 12(1), pages 101-117.
    4. Scherrer-Rathje, Maike & Boyle, Todd A. & Deflorin, Patricia, 2009. "Lean, take two! Reflections from the second attempt at lean implementation," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 79-88.
    5. Zoe Radnor & Stephen P. Osborne, 2013. "Lean: A failed theory for public services?," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 265-287, February.
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