Lean Production in Germany

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Detroit (2022)


This paper investigates whether a strong alternative model to lean production exists in Germany. Codetermination with works councils and strong unions like IG Metall exist through legislation and long-term institutionalization in Germany. This approach initiated a group work focus on teamwork, which then encountered lean production. The author argues that the German model is now thoroughly infused with lean production; however, this is still unlike the implementation of lean production in Japan or the US. German workers still have strong protective mechanisms in their firms that neither of these other two countries exhibit. He also discusses the incomplete implementation of the German model in other continents in the world. The author concludes that, rather than one alternative model, there are varieties of implementations of lean production.


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