Publication Details

This article was originally published as Alony, I and Jones, M, Lean supply chains, JIT and cellular manufacturing – the human side, Journal of Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 5, 2008, 165-175.


Lean manufacturing has been widely adopted by many production companies. Apart from the operational difficulty associated with conversion from a traditional, functional based operation, adoption of Lean manufacturing involves significant organizational transformations. It requires formation of work teams, comprised of multi-skilled workers. The work teams are preferably self directed and need to continuously improve performance and production processes. Such changes can be challenging for organizations. This paper reviews studies of human related and organizational factors in the context of Lean manufacturing, and identifies gaps in research in this area. The paper presents the principles of lean manufacturing, the organizational shifts required, and presents studies relevant to each of these shifts. The paper concludes with implications for practitioners and suggestions for further studies.