A meta-analytic investigation of lean practices and their impact on organisational performance

Publication Name

Total Quality Management and Business Excellence


Lean is one of the most powerful operational excellence methodologies in operations management that manufacturing organisations deploy to enhance their competitiveness. The objective of this study is to investigate published research with respect to the relationship between lean practices and organisational performance using a meta-analysis of correlation approach. This study gathered data from 40 articles published in reputed journals from 1993 to 2020 and analysed the effect of lean practices on organisational performance. In this context, this study utilised 12 lean practices and 4 different performance outcomes, which included operational, financial, market, and environmental. Using comprehensive meta-analysis software, the results indicate that a significant and strong positive relationship exists between aggregate lean practices and aggregate organisational performance (r = 0.37). There is also a significant strong positive relationship with all of the performance outcomes. The research highlights those individual practices have the strongest impact on organisational performance and emphasises the role of moderating variables in the relationship between lean practices and organisational performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and limitations and future research directions are presented. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of lean deployment benefits in organisation. This research has significant contribution to the body of knowledge for the lean research community, especially for lean deployment in emerging sectors.

Open Access Status

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