Human resource management, Lean processes and outcomes for employees: Towards a research agenda

Greg John Bamber, Pauline Stanton, Timothy Bartram, Ruth Ballardie

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Lean management or lean thinking is a process improvement technique that along with Six Sigma is used in an increasing range of workplaces. This special issue focuses on the use of Lean in developed countries. This increased usage reflects a growing propensity for managers to launch initiatives to upgrade the efficiency and productivity of the enterprises that they manage, usually in an attempt to enhance the cost-effectiveness of operations. This special issue of the IJHRM includes eight articles in addition to this one on various aspects of the connections between lean management, human resource management (HRM) and outcomes for employees. The present article reviews the context for the increasing popularity of lean ideas among managers. Drawing on research in a range of countries, the articles in the special issue provide interesting insights into the relationships between process improvement innovations and HRM, as well as raise further important questions for research, which enable us to suggest an agenda for future research. This includes asking: what are the differences in the ways that Lean is implemented, for example the differences that may reflect industry, regional and national variables?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2881 - 2891
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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