Organizational Effects of Information Technology: Investigating Information Technology Use in the Context of Lean Manufacturing

Organizational Effects of Information Technology: Investigating Information Technology Use in the Context of Lean Manufacturing

Johan Tetzlaff (Umeå University, Sweden) and Jonny Holmström (Umeå University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-692-6.ch012
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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to better understand the enabling and inhibiting impacts IT has on lean manufacturing. This chapter provides a rich picture of a paper mill producing liner reels and the impact of a reel administration system on the manufacturing process. It is important that an IT tool supporting lean manufacturing reflects its organization. When it does the IT tool can act as an enabler of organizational change that in turn increase productivity and the production quality, when it fails to do so it inhibits organizational change and hampers the quality of production. The conclusion is that framing the definition of high production quality regarding product and process is important and that teambuilding would be a contribution to this end by enhancing perspective taking among the employees.
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Information systems in industrial settings exist in a broad spectrum ranging from office software systems to systems that managing advanced robots. Software help managers with decision management and communication structures in today’s factories are largely based on information technology. To make a social context in a manufacturing setting successful it is important that they understand other team member’s situation in order to help them out. This requires a process of mutual perspective taking where distinctive individual knowledge is exchanged, evaluated, and integrated with that of others in the team (Boudreau & Holmström, 2006; Boland & Tenkasi, 1995). The team gets all the information they need about quality, productivity and logistics, which enhances quality of the process.

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