Institutional and cultural barriers to transferring Lean production to China: evidence from a German automotive components manufacturer

2015-02-02T16:12:28Z (GMT) by Angelika Zimmermann Marc Bollbach
Our qualitative study of a globally operating German automotive components manufacturer demonstrates how certain cognitive dispositions and behaviours of Chinese employees acted as barriers to the transfer of the firm’s Lean production system to its subsidiaries in China. We analyse how these barriers were rooted in the Chinese institutional and cultural context, thereby contributing a new micro-level perspective to business systems literature. Our findings further suggest that manufacturing in China will not be truly ‘Lean’ in the near future, which may place constraints on China’s technological development at a larger scale.