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  • 1.
    Gåsvaer, Daniel
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. Swerea IVF, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Stålberg, Lina
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Jackson, Mats
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Johansson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Exploration and Exploitation within Operations2015In: International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, E-ISSN 1307-6892, Vol. 9, no 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Exploration and exploitation capabilities are both important within Operations as means for improvement when managed separately, and for establishing dynamic improvement capabilities when combined in balance. However, it is unclear what exploration and exploitation capabilities imply in improvement and development work within an Operations context. So, in order to better understand how to develop exploration and exploitation capabilities within Operations, the main characteristics of these constructs needs to be identified and further understood. Thus, the objective of this research is to increase the understanding about exploitation and exploration characteristics, to concretize what they translates to within the context of improvement and development work in an Operations unit, and to identify practical challenges. A literature review and a case study are presented. In the literature review, different interpretations of exploration and exploitation are portrayed, key characteristics have been identified, and a deepened understanding of exploration and exploitation characteristics is described. The case in the study is an Operations unit, and the aim is to explore to what extent and in what ways exploration and exploitation activities are part of the improvement structures and processes. The contribution includes an identification of key characteristics of exploitation and exploration, as well as an interpretation of the constructs. Further, some practical challenges are identified. For instance, exploration activities tend to be given low priority, both in daily work as in the manufacturing strategy. Also, the overall understanding about the concepts of exploitation and exploration (or any similar aspect of dynamic improvement capabilities) is very low.

  • 2.
    Sannö, Anna
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Stålberg, Lina
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Managing environmentally driven change in manufacturing organisations: Moving from reactive to proactive behaviour2016In: International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, ISSN 1746-6474, E-ISSN 1746-6482, no 2-3, p. 347-363Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Manufacturing companies must become better at managing environmentally driven change in order to establish a sustainable world for future generations. Environmental issues such as energy, natural resources, pollution and waste offer both competitive opportunities and constraints, and are changing the competitive landscape in many industries. Even though several incentives have been initiated such as integrating the environmental management system into the quality management systems, still more needs to be done to achieve sustainable operations. In order to increase understanding of the strategic context of environmentally driven changes this paper explores driving forces for the implementation of environmental improvements within an organisation. Additionally, key factors supporting a successful implementation are further analysed. A framework is proposed which links together lessons learnt from implementing change from change- and quality management into sustainability- and environmental management in order to support manufacturing companies in their decision process towards a better environmental position.

  • 3.
    Stålberg, Lina
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    A supportive framework for successful implementation of improvement work2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Lean Production is one of the most generally accepted concepts for increasing operational effectiveness. However, its implementation is still challenging for many companies as it implies not only changes of technical systems and management systems but also changes in attitudes and culture. Generalizable implementation steps have still not yet emerged and there are many ways to implement Lean Production. A Lean Production implementation is a never ending process since it is always possible to become leaner. Thus, the implementation of Lean Production is a long-term commitment for a company in order to reach success.

    There is a need for research on how to develop and integrate improvement work in order to establish a successful implementation of Lean Production. Accordingly, the overall purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to contribute to an increased understanding of how to successfully implement Lean Production. Moreover, the objective is to develop a supportive framework for a successful Lean Production implementation and to describe this in a general process for the implementation of improvement work.

    Through literature reviews and three research studies, a supportive framework for the successful implementation of improvement work has been developed. The first study is an explanatory literature and interview study to build a concept model of improvement work. The second study is an exploratory embedded single case study that was conducted to validate the model. Finally, the third study is an exploratory multiple holistic case study that investigated enablers for continuous improvement after a radical implementation of Lean Production.

    The resulting supportive framework consists of important actions to consider during the different stages of a process for the implementation of improvement work. In the first stage after a radical implementation phase, actions important to sustain change and enable continuous improvement include for example a focus on good leadership on shop floor and efforts in the area of control and follow-up of results in production teams.

    To develop continuous improvement several actions are defined, like the importance of understanding the context of improvement work including important relations to operations and to develop the production strategy with objectives to align the improvement work.

    To reach long term success it is important to integrate continuous improvement into operations and important actions for this stage are for example to update the Operational Management System on the company-specific-production-system framework’s processes continuously, which includes visualisation of the overall improvement work process. 

  • 4.
    Stålberg, Lina
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Adapting to dynamic conditions through continuous innovation in manufacturing2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The speed of change increases due to the pace of technological change and globalisation, and many industries that usually have acted in more stable settings will in the future act in more dynamic marketplaces. In order to be able to manage dynamic conditions, the organisation needs to continue delivering effectively in existing business areas while developing new systems, products and processes to take advantage of new opportunities in the future. This means that the organisation must be able to use abilities for exploitation and exploration simultaneously or, in other words, strive for continuous innovation including ambidexterity.

    In the traditional manufacturing industry, many companies use some sort of improvement programme for achieving operational excellence. Hence, a trend among multinational manufacturing companies is also to deploy and integrate corporate improvement programmes (XPS). These are based on lean production and inspired by the Toyota Production System. Generally, improvement programmes such as XPS largely support the development of exploitation capabilities but not exploration capabilities, which instead may have to stand back. Previous research states that these are problematic and complex issues that need to be further understood and developed. Therefore, more knowledge and support needs to be developed regarding how manufacturing companies can adapt their production systems to remain resource-efficient while simultaneously adapting to more radical changes.

    The overall purpose of this research project is to contribute to an increased understanding of how XPS integrations can be developed towards continuous innovation to be able to manage more dynamic conditions. Accordingly, the research objective is to develop recommendations supporting continuous innovation in manufacturing. An overall longitudinal study has been carried out containing five case studies at a manufacturing company integrating an XPS during dynamic conditions, i.e., with large variations in volumes and mixes of products together with the introduction of new products and production concepts. The studies conducted and the results are presented in five appended papers.

    The research shows there is a risk that the XPS concept is abandoned due to a lack of understanding of how the XPS contributes to solve the turbulent situation that appears under dynamic conditions. At the same time, it is important to develop and support exploration skills in parallel, as these abilities are not particularly well developed in this context. Furthermore, the research shows that a strategy formulation process striving for high involvement can be used as a means of creating ambidextrous capabilities.

  • 5.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Exploring a holistic perspective on production system improvement2016In: International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 267-283Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how holistic improvement work can be organized and what challenges can be observed in the process of adopting a holistic perspective on production system improvement. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative case study and a questionnaire have been carried out. Data for the case study has been collected through semi-structured interviews, archived documents and participatory observations. The questionnaire was done in order to increase the generalizability of the findings from the case study and further validate the conclusions. Findings – The improvement work at the case company is organized as a continuous improvement approach in a Lean Production system in the form of a company-specific production system (XPS), in which two other improvement approaches are incorporated. Some of the identified challenges are: the establishment of a holistic perspective on improvement opportunities; the development of a process to update the production strategy; the continuous update of the Operational Management System during the XPS implementation; aggregating measures for the improvement work and measuring the effect of improvement work. Research limitations/implications – As the current case study is limited to one case company, future research is interested in expanding to other production systems contexts for further validation. Originality/value – The present study offers an increased understanding of the integration difficulties of improvement work that many production companies face regarding operational effectiveness, and based on the findings, some implications for management are presented.

  • 6.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Lean production integration adaptable to dynamic conditions2018In: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, ISSN 1741-038X, E-ISSN 1758-7786, Vol. 29, no 8, p. 1358-1375Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to understand how a continuous improvement (CI) approach like lean production (LP) integration is affected by dynamic conditions and to propose how LP integration can be adaptable to dynamic conditions. Design/methodology/approach A longitudinal case study has been conducted in which data were collected through participative observations, observations, documents and an in-depth semi-structured interview. Findings The adaptability is related to the maturity level of the LP integration, where more mature organisations are better equipped to deal with the challenges occurring due to their learning and experimentation capabilities. The main problem is that the LP integration needs to be adapted, like compromising with just-in-time. This creates challenges to more immature organisations; they do not seem to be able to adapt the LP integration since the skills are lacking. Research limitations/implications The research limitations are associated with the research design and therefore might limit generalisation of the context studied. Practical implications The management needs to stay focused on the LP integration to continue building CI capability. There is a need to adapt the LP concept, which includes assessing how proposed changes and the LP concept interact in order to make them reinforce each other. This involves creating guidelines concerning adaptation and facilitating a transition from mainly single-loop learning to double-loop learning. Originality/value This paper contributes by describing challenges that have an impact on LP integration and related organisational adaptability under dynamic conditions.

  • 7.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Supporting the integration of improvement approaches into operations2014In: 58th EOQ Congress EOQ 2014, 2014, p. 1-15Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lean Production is one of the most generally accepted concepts for increasing operational effectiveness. However, its implementation is still challenging for many companies as it implies not only changes of technical systems and management systems but also changes in attitudes and culture. Generalizable implementation steps have still not yet emerged and there are many ways to implement Lean Production. A Lean Production implementation is a never ending process since it is always possible to become leaner. Thus, the implementation of Lean Production is a long-term commitment for a company in order to reach success. There is a need for research on how to develop and integrate improvement work in order to establish a successful implementation of Lean Production. Accordingly, the overall purpose of the paper is to contribute to an increased understanding of how to successfully implement Lean Production. Moreover, the objective is to develop a supportive framework for a successful Lean Production implementation and to describe this in a general process for the implementation of improvement work. The framework can then be used as support for leaders in the process of fostering an improvement culture Through literature reviews and three research studies, a supportive framework for the successful implementation of improvement work has been developed. The first study is an explanatory literature and interview study to build a concept model of improvement work. The second study is an exploratory embedded single case study that was conducted to validate the model. Finally, the third study is an exploratory multiple holistic case study that investigated enablers for continuous improvement after a radical implementation of Lean Production. The resulting supportive framework consists of important actions to consider during the different stages of a process for the implementation of improvement work. In the first stage after a radical implementation phase, actions important to sustain change and enable continuous improvement include for example a focus on good leadership on shop floor and efforts in the area of control and follow-up of results in production teams. To develop continuous improvement several actions are defined, like the importance of understanding the context of improvement work including important relations to operations and to develop the production strategy with objectives to align the improvement work. To reach long term success it is important to integrate continuous improvement into operations and important actions for this stage are for example to update the Operational Management System on the company-specific-production-system framework’s processes continuously, which includes visualisation of the overall improvement work process.

  • 8.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. IPR .
    Transitioning radical improvement to continuous improvement2012In: Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing: 22nd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, Helsinki, Finland: FAIM 2012 and Tampere University of Technology, Department of Production Engineering , 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lean Production can be implemented by performing a radical improvement step, Kaikaku, that thereafter enables continuous improvement, Kaizen. However, the overall success and competitiveness of a company lays in its ability to combine radical improvement with continuous improvement; with radical improvement achieve fast results and with continuous improvement sustain results and gradually improve. The purpose of the study presented in this paper is to investigate the relationships between radical and continuous improvement. What factors enable continuous improvement after radical improvement, and what can be done to further develop continuous improvement after radical improvement? A case study has been conducted at a company that has accomplished a radical improvement step and started their work with continuous improvement. Six pilot groups from the production facilities were observed, and interviews with supervisors, team leaders and operators were conducted. A number of business ratios have been collected in order to investigate the progress of the continuous improvement work. The study shows that success factors important for enabling continuous improvement after radical improvement are Participation, Control and Follow-up, Leadership and Values. In order for the organisation to be able to continue to improve over time, it is important that the success factors Vision and Goals, Education and Learning, Way of Working and Organisation and Support continue to develop.

  • 9.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    Gåsvaer, Daniel
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    von Axelson, Jens
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    Widfeldt, Magnus
    Towards a holistic perspective on production system improvement2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Stålberg, Lina
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Jackson, Mats
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Strategy formulation - bridging the gap between exploration and exploitation2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Operational excellence programmes develop good exploitation capabilities within operations, but for realising radical and innovative changes, exploration capabilities are also needed. Making the capabilities coexist is challenging since they tend to counteract one another. Based on a case study, this paper explores challenges related to exploitation and exploration, it investigates whether and how a strategy formulation process can be used to manage these challenges and analyse the consequences for the operational excellence programme. Challenges were identified, and it was found that a strategy formulation process can be used as a means to bridge the gap between exploitation and exploration. 

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