The role of Lean at the interface with between Operations Management and Applied Services within a large aerospace organisation: a boundary spanning perspective

Rodney McAdam, Brendan Galbraith, Kristel Miller, Sandra Moffett, Maura McAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
93 Downloads (Pure)


Increased complexity in large design and manufacturing organisations require improvements at the Operations Management (OM) – Applied Service (AS) interface areas to improve project effectiveness. The aim of this paper is explore the role of Lean in improving the longitudinal efficiency of the OM-AS interface within a large aerospace organisation using Lean principles and boundary spanning theory. The methodology was an exploratory longitudinal case approach including exploratory interviews (n=21), focus groups (n=2), facilitated action-research workshops (n=2) and two trials or experiments using longitudinal data involving both OM and AS personnel working at the interface. The findings draw upon Lean principles and boundary spanning theory to guide and interpret the findings. It was found that misinterpretation, and forced implementation, of OM-based Lean terminology and practice in the OM-AS interface space led to delays and misplaced resources. Rather both OM and AS staff were challenged to develop a cross boundary understanding of Lean-based boundary (knowledge) objects in interpreting OM requests. The longitudinal findings from the experiments showed that the development of Lean Performance measurements and lean Value Stream constructs was more successful when these Lean constructs were treated as boundary (knowledge) objects requiring transformation over time to orchestrate improved effectiveness and in leading to consistent terminology and understanding between the OM-AS boundary spanning team.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1298-1311
JournalProduction Planning & Control
Issue number15
Early online date19 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

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  • Lean
  • Operations Management
  • Applied Service
  • Boundary Spanning
  • Aerospace
  • Case Study


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