Lean Knowledge Work - Management Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-09
Lean Knowledge Work - Management Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Management
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1791 words
15 min read

In the production process, most organizations are faced with the problem of determining the best practices, which would lead to optimal utilization of the available resources. Therefore, it becomes the wish and urge of every manager to apply approaches and measures that would ensure that the firm yields the maximum outputs from its inputs. Lean management was developed to solve such problems. Hence, lean management is the process of controlling in an enterprise, which promotes continuous improvement, and entails a long-term method to institute systematic procedures aimed at achieving small but progressive enhancements. In the end, after actualization of these targets, enterprises can improve the quality of their products, and also the efficiency in the production process. This method is commonly practiced in the manufacturing sector and also hails from the same industry.

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The knowledge of the lean management is expressed extensively by the article, which majors on the actions of Toyota, and the vital principles applied to their line of production. The author terms Toyota as the root of the lean management system, where the firm has used it to improve its production process. The author also indicates that the process of implementing the approach is not simple, and it relies on patience and determination of the firm's administration (Semanco, and Modrak, 2014). The article also explores the journey adopted by Wipro Technologies as they focused on implementing the lean practices in the software production line. Their story reveals the ups and downs, the advantages and significance of the lean approach, and also suggesting the best approach and procedures that an organization can follow to achieve the full implementation of the lean management approach. The essay examines factors such as, minimizing wastes, harnessing tacit knowledge and converting it into explicit knowledge, setting up relevant communication specifications amongst the employees, hastily and direct handling of problems. Additionally, enterprises ought to establish a comprehensive plan on the progressive journey, and the leaders should also set an example for the rest of the workers.

Comparative Analysis of 'Best Practices' in Lean Management Systems

Several organizations have ventured into the actualization of lean management. However, the degree of actualization depends on how efficient such corporations have implemented the best practices or principles of lean management systems. For instance, some organizations have been able to efficiently execute the method of practice of better communication amongst its employees. Some organizations such as Apple Inc and Google have established comprehensive communication framework, which ensures that the managers can relay relevant information to their juniors, and also make sure that peer communication is facilitated in the long run (Staats, Brunner, and Upton, 2011). Such approaches have enhanced the productivity of the employees since the messages and instructions are efficiently transmitted to the relevant receivers, which reduces the time wasted in translating or understanding the message and giving sufficient time for the execution of the actual problems or the production process. However, it is difficult for institutions to establish systems that allow each worker to efficiently interact with the other and ensure that the relevant message is transmitted from one point to the other. This can be associated with social or organizational culture, which varies from one person to the other. For instance, a study conducted by Puvanasvaran et al. (2009), indicates that actualization of communication prowess has been deterred by the existence of different cultures, such that the native English speakers find it difficult to converse with foreign workers. This is due to the exposure to various cultures. Additionally, organizations that practice autocratic leadership system are prone to breakdowns in the communication process, since employers are not motivated to adopt what has been relayed by dictatorial administrators.

On the other hand, most organizations have failed to achieve the implementation of the lean system due to lack of adequate plans on the progressive accomplishment of the lean process. As indicated in the article, the method is not easy, nor is it achieved in the in a conservative approach. Most organizational cultures have implemented strategic plans which aim at making ambitious successes within a limited period (Puvanasvaran et al., 2009). However, the lean system requires the establishment of an extensive program, which considers failures and accommodates the sluggish implementation phase and failures. For instance, the article indicates that Wipro Technologies started with ten pilot projects, which they used to gauge on the probability of success. Regardless of the sluggish level of success, the firm received a positive signal from eight projects. This acted as the basis of their progress in the actualization of this approach.

Additionally, most organizations have faced a block in converting tacit knowledge into an explicit form. This has emerged as one of the challenges facing various managers across the globe. Locally, institutions invest in explicit experience, due to either lack of knowledge, or lack of abilities to exploit it. Additionally, populations such as women have faced a slump in the process of harnessing their inherent information, which is facilitated by primitive cultures that considered them powerless. Apart from the recent interventions, feminine was deemed to be weak and had no chance of contributing to significant decisions in the society.

However, factors such as involvement of leaders have been successfully integrated into organizations culture, where enterprises such as Samsung have adopted democratic leadership styles, thus allowing employees to contribute to the future decision-making process. Such advances have facilitated the exploitation of the tacit knowledge through active involvement in the problem-solving activities of the enterprise. Thus, this allows them to interact, and create a new set of experience, which can be utilized in establishing a solution to the new and existing problems in the corporation.

Tacit Versus Explicit Knowledge

Tactic knowledge is believed to be personal, and thus it is hard to retrieve it from the brains of such individuals. Hence, in management, it is thought that the most substantial portion of knowledge available in an organization is implicit, and only the owners who can access it. Hence, this forms the basis of the principle of transferring workers from one section of the enterprise to the other with the aim of allowing them to disseminate the inborn knowledge to such departments. Additionally, it is believed that this kind of knowledge is shared or harnessed when such workers come together to solve critical circumstances. This enables the holders of the information to share their experience, which may hopefully lead to the generation of new approaches and ideas originating from the creation of a new set of knowledge. Therefore, in an organizational setup, managers are mandated to explore and identify the unique expertise attached to each individual in their organization, and in turn, create various sets of interactions. Such enables employees to develop new knowledge, as they interact in the process of performing the allocated tasks in the organization (Turner, 2012). However, most managers do not have the ability to identify unique knowledge held by individuals. Thus, this intelligence ends up being unused. It has become a global concern especially in large corporations, which have an extended pool of knowledge, but the managers or the administrators do not have the ability to identify and tap them into productive use.

Contrary, the explicit knowledge is considered as something that can be expressed or explained. However, it is assumed that in some cases, some assistance is required to help such individuals to convey such knowledge. Hence, the proponents of this approach believe that individual knowhow in organizations can be made explicit or articulated. Moreover, it is thought that the explicit knowledge can be expressed through the creation of knowledge assets and disseminated into the organizations through drawings, documents, manuals detailing on the best practice, and conventional operating processes. Hence, organizations may use information systems to enhance the relay of the knowhow assets across the organization. Consequently, this has led to the development of the belief that knowledge is explicit and can be established through the utilization of a managed, scientific, and structured learning process. For instance, enterprises may use experiments to remedy the deficiency in knowledge, and also improve the scope of know-how available to such an enterprise.

Challenges That Relate Converting Tacit Knowledge into Explicit Knowledge

Language and perception present the significant challenge that inhibits the capturing, sharing, and conversion of the tacit knowledge to explicit one. Some individuals are in most cases unaware of their capabilities or the scope of experience they are endowed within their minds. Unlike the explicit knowhow where holders are believed to know adequately, the implicit one is usually internalized into one's mind, and thus developing to be our habits or our way of thinking (Turner, 2012). Therefore, if the holders of such knowledge are not aware of their capabilities, then the process of extracting, sharing and converting it into explicit knowledge stalls. Additionally, such information is considered to be in non-verbal form, thus necessitating the use of a standard language to express it. Some individuals, however, find it difficult to communicate their know-how with others. Hence, if one cannot naturally relay what is in his or her mind, then, the process of extracting, sharing and converting it into explicit knowledge is altered.

Moreover, time acts as one of the significant challenge facing the process of extracting, sharing and converting it into explicit knowledge. The method of identifying and internalization of the kind of experience owned by an individual needs commitment, usually consuming extended time. Additionally, after identification, one needs to align it into a deliverable form for either individual or organizational use. Therefore, the time required to convert tacit knowledge into explicit one limits or discourages most organization in pursuing it. Nonetheless, the additional time is needed for the owners of the knowhow to interact with the organizational culture and relate his implicit information to solve and share it during the process of active participation. Thus, the extended period required to identify and internalize the tacit knowledge has been defined as one of the major factors that inhibit the process of extracting, sharing and converting it into explicit information.

The value associated with tacit know-how has also limited the possibility to share and convert it into an explicit one. Individuals who have access to information on the value of their knowledge are always choosy on the firms or platforms in which they express such information. If an organization can not recompense for the actual cost, such personnel tend to withhold their data and preserve it for corporations that are willing to pay for its value. Therefore, the value associated with specified tacit information has limited the process of extracting, sharing and converting it into explicit knowledge in firms that do not have access to adequate capital.

Finally, distance serves as an emerging challenge towards the process of retrieving and converting tacit know-how into explicit. In the modern business culture, most of...

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