Q Bibliography: Pfeiffer, Held, and Lee on industrial implementation

Pfeiffer, Sabine, Maximilian Held, & Horan Lee (2018, May). Digitalisierung „machen“ – Ansichten im Engineering zur partizipativen Gestaltung von Industrie 4.0 [“Doing” digitalisation – Views of industrial engineers on participation in “Industry 4.0”]. In Josephine Hofmann (Ed.), Arbeit 4.0 – Digitalisierung, IT und Arbeit: IT als Treiber der digitalen Transformation [Work 4.0 – Digitization, IT and labor: IT as a driver of digital transformation] (pp. 113-129). Wiesbaden: Springer Professional. [German] ISBN 978-3-658-21359-6. $59.99 cloth and ebook.

DOI & Full Text (German)

Chapter Summary

The German buzzword “Industry 4.0” comprises a host of diverse technologies, each requiring manifold implementation decisions as they are deployed in companies. Current forms of participatory design (including agile methods, design thinking, open innovation) often involve customers early on, but hardly the workers operating the new technologies on the shop floor. We investigate whether, and how the industrial engineers driving this change want to involve their blue-collar colleagues from the shop floor. This chapter reports unpublished results from a survey, qualitative interviews and a Q-sort at the industrial engineering department of a German automaker. Results indicate that engineers are ready to involve workers, and have made positive experiences with participation in the design process. However, such participation is often hampered by a lack of time and opportunity, as well as ideas and initiative to break with existing processes, often focused on ex-post optimisation.

Sabine Pfeiffer holds the chair for sociology for labor, technology and society at Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Nürnberg-Erlangen (FAU), Germany. Horan Lee  is a research associate at FAU. Maximilian Held is a research associate and Q data scientist at FAU, as well as the webmaster of the Q methodology website.

Q Dissertation: Bicking on application of the Toyota Production System

Bicking, Cortes J. (2015). Toyota Production System (TPS) theories-in-action and lean implementation theories-in-action: A contrast in maximization of human potential. Doctoral dissertation, Human and Organization Development, Fielding Graduate University.

Abstract: Thousands of companies have tried to emulate the Toyota Production System (TPS), through the concept of Lean manufacturing, resulting in disappointment or failure. Case studies have identified broad causal factors such as leadership actions, lack of overall skills, and “cherry-picking” TPS techniques, instead of embracing them in the spirit and mindset intended. This research sought to identify the collective mindset, which enables Toyota to effectively apply TPS, when others cannot. The findings provide insight into prerequisites of Lean implementation. Such knowledge benefits companies desiring to embrace continuous improvement thinking into the fabric of their culture and consultants concerned with “how”. The research began by exploring the similarities and differences between Lean implementation theories-in-action and TPS theories-in-action. A triangulated approach using case studies, q-sort methodology, and survey was employed. Participants in the q-sort and survey came from 2 sources. The first, a company that has attempted to implement Lean practice more than once with disappointing results. The second source, a team of Toyota employees from their Erlanger, KY plant. Comparisons yielded 3 important findings. First, Toyota responses indicate a willingness and commitment to challenge the status quo, at every level, not evident in the other company. Second, a definite lack of understanding the underlying purpose of Lean and the tools was apparent in the non-Toyota organization. Third, the method of organizational learning employed by Toyota has a different focus than the non-Toyota organization. The findings indicate prerequisite organizational characteristics, necessary for successful implementation of Lean, exist. A CAS perspective, openness to collaborative, non-defensive, reflection within Toyota far exceeds the non-Toyota company. Further investigation on how to foster collaborative reflection among teams, organizations, and society is warranted and could enable positive social change.