The survey of the relationship between the knowledge management and running a lean production system (case study Qazvin’s Haft Almas manufacturing company)

Author Name(s): Ramin Shadi
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Abstract

The current study is an applied research and it is recounted among the descriptive-correlation studies. The objective of the current study is the investigation of the relationship between KM and running a lean production system in Qazvin’s Haft Almas manufacturing company. To measure the KM, there has been made use of five strategic, procedural, individualistic and roles and information technology dimensions. The data collection tool used in the current study is a researcher-made questionnaire. it is worth mentioning that the study population in the present research includes 1221 individuals of the staff and the mangers working in Haft Almas manufacturing company and the total number of the study sample volume was estimated to be 293 individuals based on Cochran’s formula. Pierson correlation test has been used in analyzing the data. The results obtained indicate that there is a positive and significant relationship between the KM fivefold dimension including strategic, structural, process, individuals and roles and information technology aspects with implementing a lean production system.

Keywords

knowledge management, KM’s strategic aspect, KM’s structural dimension, KM’s process aspect, the individuals and the roles dimension, information technology, lean production

Introduction

There is no doubt that the today’s successful decision makers will be the tomorrow’s leading managers who try to find an insight over the development grounding in their countries or organizations in an integrate and comprehensive manner through correct and accurate futuristic planning and who are constantly keeping a forward look into the future instead of taking a cross-sectional, isolated stance and/or the so-called continuous presence in crisis management (Kazerooni et al, 2012). After the world war the first, Henry Ford and Alfred Sloan dragged the global industrial productions out of the manual production and handmade manufacturing processes which had been previously made common by the

European companies and directed them towards mass production. Through easy promotion of the manufacturing methodologies in all of the industries, the US country turned into the new manufacturing and production leader and automobile production industry became the palpitating heart of this country. It was at this period that lean production was introduced and published within the framework of a research project which was named “the machine that changed the world”. The underlying concept of the lean thinking is latent in uprooting the wastage and creation of the value in the organizations. Lean thinking style is an attitude towards increasing productivity, constant value creating, minimizing the costs and the losses. Such a thinking style provides for a method through the application of which we can get the most out of the least resources, equipment and space available and also to stay close to and approach the customers according to finding about their needs and at the same time through supplying them with exactly what they need. It is through this attitude that one can implement the lean production system in an organization. Mass production system is not capable of supplying diverse products in small quantities a type f system that can respond and react to the customers’ specialized and specific needs. Also, the products delivery times get longer as a result of mass and stack productions and long waiting time a part needs to pass through manufacturing processes and the finished price cannot be reduced due to the high and great losses and wastages (Ashlaghi et al, 2009)

Conclusions

Competition in the present world of manufacturing and production necessitates the deployment of the entire array of the techniques and new lean production ideas. In the second half of the 21st century, the global manufacturers are faced with new rivals and competitors who supply the global market with the better quality products, with a greater diversity and lower prices via making use of half of the normal capital and facilities required. One of the novel techniques proposed is the lean production theory and it has a fundamental role in modifying and improving the processes. Implementing lean production system necessitates strategic plans and taking advantage of the information technologies and the staff members and the KM can be highlighted as a strategic and favorable solution in line with facilitating the implementation of such a system. Since KM is the way to reach to the organizational objectives through the optimum use of knowledge or the ability of an organization in making use of the spiritual capital (individual experience and knowledge existing in every individual) and the collective knowledge for the purpose of achieving the objectives and goals through processes such as knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and making use of such a knowledge aided by technology. In the present study we dealt with the survey of the relationship between fivefold KM dimensions, strategic, structural, process, individuals and roles and information technology) and lean production system implementation. Corresponding to the results obtained from the study hypotheses, we have found that there is a positive and significant relationship between the entire KM aspects and dimensions and the lean production system running and among the KM-related dimensions the individuals and roles has been discovered to be having the highest relevance in the lean production system implementation so we can interpret it as the KM should be more attending to the optimization of the relationships between the staff and the higher management ranks in manufacturing units in order for the lean production system to be better implemented and it is through this focus and attention that the knowledge sharing culture between the staff can be created in such organizations. Although knowledge can be acquired by the individuals but in order for it to be useful it is necessary for all of the staff members to get participated in it.

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