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The agile way of working within the manufacturing industry: An exploratory study investigating how to lead the adoption of the “Agile way of working” within the manufacturing industry
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Based upon two important phenomena within the manufacturing industry an upcoming agile era is being proposed within this thesis, those phenomena have shown a shift in the focus of attention for companies within the manufacturing industry in the past. The first phenomenon is being referred to as “physical product development saturation” and the second phenomenon is “lean saturation”, which are introduced in order to give importance to the aspiration for a new emphasis to remain competitiveness and create more value within the manufacturing industry. Where in the past the focus was on physical product development, this in order to enhance and or invent new products. This was followed by the need for a more efficient way of working by eliminating wastes (Lean), although both phenomena are about to reach their limits with respect to the extra value they (can) create. The forthcoming agile era allows for a new way of value creation, this by adaptivity. This introduces the potential of a new way to create value, this being done by the agile way of working.

Purpose: The research in this thesis aimed to find an answer to the question of how companies within the manufacturing industry could adopt an agile way of working in order to allow for a new way of value creation.

Method: This research was approached by conducting a qualitative study. Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted, with companies from the manufacturing, IT and consultancy industries. The collected data was then sorted and analysed systematically to generate knowledge and draw upon conclusions to answer the proposed research questions.

Conclusion: In order to successfully adopt the agile way of working, within an organization in the manufacturing industry, the challenge is to create awareness and an understanding of the value and benefits an agile way of working could create, especially for the middle-management. This could be done by explaining an agile way of working as an extension to Lean. Furthermore, the tools & processes of the agile way of working could be experimented with in order to start “doing agile”, this finally resulting in creating an understanding of the potential power of an agile way of working. Whereas, an agile way of working is being characterized by an encouraging, transparent culture led by a servant leadership style by making use of empowerment to stimulate value creation. Ultimately, resulting in adopting an agile way of working and achieving “becoming agile”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 85
Keywords [en]
Agile way of working, Servant leadership, Empowerment, Adhocracy, Lean, Change management and Agile manufacturing.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-43912ISRN: JU-IHH-GMT-2-20190061OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-43912DiVA, id: diva2:1319484
Subject / course
JIBS, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Note

Thesis written in the  context of the study program “Engineering Management”.

Available from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-06-01 Last updated: 2019-07-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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