Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Rapinder S. Sawhney

Committee Members

Bogdan C. Bichescu, Mingzhou Jin, Andrew J. Yu


The focal point of this dissertation is to find the relevance that cultural difference at a societal level exercise on the design of lean systems as a strategic management practice, from the perspective of production operations involving the shop floor, support activities and management. A conceptual model derived from a thorough literature review provides the theoretical framework of the factors considered to affect the design of the lean practice, considering only human attributes such as individual competence and national culture.The analysis of culture as a determinant factor for the success and sustainability of lean systems has been a topic of recent interest; however, most of the focus has been placed on the organizational rather than the societal environment. As a Japanese Management System, the Lean Management Practice requires a contextualization process when implemented outside of the environment natural to the Japanese culture. An analysis of the relevance of factors is compared through a case study within two different societal contexts, considering the control variable the implementation of lean systems within an organization that has worked or implanted the Lean Management Practice. . A total of 152 subject responses were collected from this organization in two different facilities within the Americas: United States, and Mexico.The selected method for data collection is a questionnaire based on the proposed conceptual model factors. The useful sample responses for analysis consisted of 97 cases. The method of analysis is Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. The constructs were designed using three different methods, all with a starting point in Literature Review.The model was tested at a measurement and structural level for their reliability, convergent validity and discriminant validity and predictability, as corresponded to the type of model, based on established criterion. Mediation analysis was conducted to test whether cultural dimensions influence the relationship (path linkages) between the factors. Multi-Group Analysis (MGA) was conducted to test whether there is a difference in influence of cultural dimensions between the nationalities in the study. Results demonstrated that there are significant differences of national culture among the locations sampled for validation, though mediation effects were not significant.

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