Sustainable Development in Organizations
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Sustainable Development in Organizations

Studies on Innovative Practices

Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar

An increasingly competitive environment can lead to considerable problems for many organizations as they struggle to adapt to change. As a result, they fail to create the conditions that can lead to sustainable development over the long term, thus affecting the capabilities of employees. This book provides a fresh perspective on sustainable change and development in organizations, as well as a critical perspective on lean implementation, work environment and sustainability.
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Chapter 3: Lean implementation, work environment and sustainability

Jörgen Eklund, Agneta Halvarsson Lundkvist and Pernilla Lindskog


The field of organizational development is constantly moving as new concepts, methods and philosophies are proposed and introduced into working life. This development is, to a large extent, driven by consultants, managers and practitioners. The concepts may survive for shorter or longer periods, but eventually they can all be considered fads (Abrahamson, 1996). The concept of Lean (Lean Production) has provoked much interest in different types of organizations. The concept is largely an interpretation of Toyota’s way of managing its operations. Many authors have described Lean (for example, Womack et al., 1991; Liker, 2004), even though there is no general definition of the concept. Criticism of Lean has mainly been focused on the consequences for employees and their working conditions. However, the results of research on Lean show varying outcomes in terms of the effect on working conditions (Hasle et al., 2012).

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