University of Twente Student Theses


Effects of Lean Management on Exploration in SME's

Pohlmann, Christoph (2014) Effects of Lean Management on Exploration in SME's.

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Abstract:Firms have the choice between two types of innovations, namely exploitation and exploration. Both concepts require a different way of thinking and organizing and therefore are somehow contradicting, resulting in a tension that needs to be managed. Further both compete for scarce resources. Literature focuses on larger firms so far, but especially SME’s, which are usually shorter on resources and advances firm structures, need more attention. One suitable way to improve efficiency and structures is lean management. Outcomes of lean management are widely known and mainly associated with exploitation. Nevertheless, affects on exploration may be present. This paper explores potential links between lean management and exploration in SME’s by conducting a qualitative research. Possible, mediating variables are derived from the literature and summarized in statements, which are analyzed with a sample of eight SME’s located in the Netherlands. Outcomes of this paper show, that lean management indeed affects not only exploitation, but also exploration in SME’s. The results do not always show a positive relationship. Notwithstanding, it is shown that firms cannot exclude possible affects of lean management on explorative innovations from their worldview. Further, outcomes suggest that literature generally has been too restrictive and should take side-effects into consideration.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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