Human factors involved in lean management: a systematic literature review

Nancy Bouranta, Evagelos Psomas, Jiju Antony*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyses data from articles published from 2010 to 2019, which include empirical or theoretical-practical implications related to Human Resource Management (HRM) perspectives in a Lean environment. The main aim of this paper is to define Lean Management (LM) in light of HRM and identify HR themes. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of HRM in a Lean environment was carried out, based on the four well-known publishers, namely Emerald Online, Science Direct, Springer Link, and Taylor and Francis. In total, 180 relative papers published in 48 journals were collected. The affinity and the fishbone diagram were applied in order to group the practical implications of the studies into logical themes and sub-themes. Additionally, the Pareto diagram was used to prioritise the revealed themes. A high interest in soft-Lean practices has emerged in the last few decades. The practical implications of the reviewed articles have been grouped into eleven themes, revealing various aspects of HR involved in Lean management. Specifically, they concern Training, Leadership, Culture, Participation, HR department role, Commitment, Job Design, Teamwork, Communication, Impact on employee and Resistance tο change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1145
Number of pages33
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Issue number9-10
Early online date17 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022


  • human resource management
  • lean
  • systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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