Operationalising lean in healthcare: the impact of professionalism

Claire Lindsay, Maneesh Kumar, Linda Juleff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Lean is endorsed as policy in practice in the UK but the challenges and complexities affecting Lean in healthcare are still to be adequately assessed. Through a qualitative single case study of an NHS organisation implementing Lean, 43 interviews with multi-disciplinary team members involved in Lean were conducted. The progress of Lean is found to be inhibited as medical professionals have failed to engage or provide clinical leadership in supporting the trajectory of Lean. This resulted in limited outcomes, sustainability implications, and failed projects. Lean is challenged by complexity and this is evident in conflicts between professional identity, corresponding status and clinical/managerial relationships. Medical professionals as a group have received a limited focus in papers assessing the progress of Lean in Healthcare from an operational perspective. Going forward, strategies for mitigating the negative impact of this can be developed to support operational managers in the healthcare domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-643
Number of pages15
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2019


  • Lean
  • healthcare
  • professionalism
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Operationalising lean in healthcare: the impact of professionalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this