Guest Editors, based in Australia: Professor Greg Bamber (Monash University, Melbourne)
Professor Timothy Bartram (La Trobe University, Melbourne) and Professor Pauline Stanton (Victoria University, Melbourne)
Reflecting managers’ drives for efficiency, productivity and more cost-effective outcomes for customers/clients, there has been a growing use of ‘lean thinking’ across segments of the economy including: manufacturing; banking; call centres; healthcare; educational institutions and government (Shadur, Rodwell and Bamber 1995; Linehart, Huxley and Robertson 1997). Process Re-engineering (PR) such as Lean Management (LM) and Six Sigma (SS), is used increasingly around the world even in professionalised industries such as healthcare (Womack and Jones 2003; Ben-Tovim et al. 2007; Kollberg, Dahlgaard and Brehmer 2007). Process re-engineering, also known as process redesign, can be simply defined as trying to produce improvements in performance by radical redesign of organisational processes. Despite the potential benefits of lean management approaches, the leaders of business enterprises and other organisations that have implemented lean thinking are facing significant challenges related to sustainability of such practices, as well as effectively managing the implementation and impact of these initiatives at the organisational level, particularly on managers and employees (Stewart et al. 2009). This special issue seeks to take an international perspective on examining the nexus of lean thinking and its impact on human resource management, skills, training, the design of work and other outcomes for employees.
Manufacturing industries have successfully used Process Re-engineering for years. Toyota developed LM to cut costs and improve quality. LM involves identifying and reducing non-value adding process steps (Shadur et al. 1995; Womack and Jones 2003). SS is a system of quality control to reduce the number of defective parts in complex devices to six standard deviations from the mean. SS supplements LM approaches by reducing inefficiencies in value-adding operations (Arnheiter and Maleyeff 2005) and identifying and reducing variation. Given the growth of lean thinking among service based organisations across a range of industries and sectors around the world there is a need to examine its impact on such areas such as the role of HRM and the effective management of human resources and employee outcomes in employing organisations that have adopted such innovations.
Despite the fact that lean thinking involves people doing things differently and leads to changes in work practices and processes, there is a dearth of research on the nexus of HRM and PR particularly in examining the role of effective HRM and workplace structures and processes with the implementation of PR across a range of organisations, especially service- based organisation such as hospitals, universities, call centres and government organisations.
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For example, little is known about the involvement of HRM specialists in the introduction of process re-engineering its impact on HR processes and practices. The Special Issue seeks to address this gap in the literature through encouraging papers from around the world from leading scholars who have been researching and developing such a body of knowledge. The issue aims to go beyond case study descriptions of the implementation of lean thinking. Authors are encouraged to challenge existing theories/frameworks, and where appropriate, draw on other disciplines to present new frameworks and models of lean thinking.
This is an important research agenda, which needs urgent attention. The objective of this special issue is to advance the theoretical, conceptual and empirical base of lean thinking and HRM and work processes within the international context. Papers may include some of the following list of topics:
Possible Topic Areas
- Regional and national impact of lean thinking and the roles of HRM
- The role of high performance work systems in employing organisations that implement LM
- The impact of process re-engineering on management and employees in particular work intensification, workplace employment relations, occupational health and safety
- LM and its relationship to collective and individual bargaining, unions and contracts of employment
- Critical management/postmodernist approaches to skills, training, work design and the consequences of LM for workers
- LM and HRM across a range of industries including manufacturing; banking; call centres; healthcare; educational institutions and government and other elements of the service sector
Papers should be formatted in accordance with the IJHRM style. Papers to be considered for this special issue should be submitted no later than 31 July 2013 via the IJHRM web site: www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode1⁄4rijh20&page 1⁄4 instructions
Papers will be double-blind peer reviewed. The Guest Editors would be glad to discuss ideas for papers informally via email: Greg Bamber: email@example.com Timothy Bartram: firstname.lastname@example.org Pauline Stanton: Pauline.Stanton@vu.edu.au
The IJHRM has a new editorial team and is a highly-regarded journal published by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor and Francis Ltd, 11 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4P 4EE, UK.
The Guest Editors would be glad to discuss ideas for papers informally via email. Also, please notify the Guest Editors directly by email when you submit Manuscripts via ScholarOne. But for any technical help with ScholarOne, please contact ScholarOne or Routledge.
Manuscripts should be submitted online using the International Journal of Human Resource Management ScholarOne Manuscripts site: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ rijh
New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre.
Authors should prepare and upload two versions of their manuscript. One should be a complete text, while in the second all document information identifying the author should be removed from files to allow them to be sent anonymously to referees. When uploading files authors will then be able to define the non-anonymous version as “Complete Document with author information”, and the anonymous version as “Main document without author information”.
To submit your manuscript, choose the title of this Special Issue from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue?’ and insert the title in the text field provided.
Arnheiter, E.D., and Maleyeff, J. (2005), ‘The Integration of Lean Management and Six Sigma,’ The TQM Magazine, 17, 5–18.
Ben-Tovim, D.I., Bassham, J.E., Bolch, D., Martin, M.A., Dougherty, M., and Szwarcbord, M. (2007), ‘Lean Thinking Across a Hospital: Redesigning Care at the Flinders Medical Centre,’ Australian Health Review, 31, 10–15.
Kollberg, B., Dahlgaard, J.J., and Brehmer, P.-O. (2007), ‘Measuring Lean Initiatives in Health Care Settings: Issues and Findings,’ International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 56, 7–24.
Linehart, J., Huxley, C., and Robertson, D. (1997), Just Another Car Factory? Lean Production and It Discontents, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Shadur, M.A., Rodwell, J.J., and Bamber, G.J. (1995), ‘Factors Predicting Employees’ Acceptance Of Lean Production,’ Human Relations, 48, 1403–1425.
Stewart, P., Murphy, K., Danford, A., Richardson, T., Richardson, M., and Wass, V. (2009), We Sell Out Time No More: Workers Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry, London: Pluto Press.
Womack, J.P., and Jones, D.T. (2003), Lean Thinking, London: Simon & Schuster.