Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1370409
 
 

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Lean Principles, Learning, and Software Production: Evidence from Indian Software Services


Bradley R. Staats


University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

David M. Upton


Harvard Business School

March 30, 2009

Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 08-001

Abstract:     
While the concepts of lean production are frequently applied in service organizations there is little work that rigorously has examined implementing lean production in contexts other than manufacturing as well as lean production's impact on performance in these settings. In this paper we set out to accomplish both tasks by investigating the implementation of a lean production system at an Indian software services firm. Combining a detailed case study and empirical analysis we document the internal processes that the lean initiative influences. We find that lean projects perform better than the non-lean projects in our sample in many, but not all cases. Building on this result we see that the impact of the techniques on problem solving, coordination, and standardization of work improve the way that the firm learns as well as its productivity. In so doing, we gain insight into how a company can build an operations-based advantage.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: Lean production, operations strategy, organizational learning, software

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Date posted: April 2, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Staats, Bradley R. and Upton, David M., Lean Principles, Learning, and Software Production: Evidence from Indian Software Services (March 30, 2009). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 08-001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1370409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1370409

Contact Information

Bradley R. Staats (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )
McColl Building, CB#3490
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

David M. Upton
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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