Nonprofits struggle to meet the high demand for social services as resources decrease. To offset these challenges, new approaches to leadership strategies need to be explored. One such strategy, Lean Management System (LMS), can enhance competitive advantage and sustainability by adding value to the customer through the elimination of excess or non-valued-steps in an organization’s processes. The qualitative multiple-case study focus was four purposely-selected medium-sized nonprofit case organizations in Washington State that had implemented lean management. The purpose was to explore how lean is perceived within the nonprofit organization as an effective management system to increase operational efficiency. Data collection involved interviews with 14 participants composed of nonprofit executive directors, selected staff members, and lean consultants to understand respondents’ perceptions and experiences implementing LMS in the respective organization. Study findings indicate LMS is effective within nonprofit organizations and has shared benefits of (a) increased capacity, revenue, quality, and cost-savings, and (b) reduced process and staff time. Resultant themes from cross-case analysis include: leadership involvement and continued support is crucial to LMS success, acquiring affordable expertise to train and educate staff about LMS may be difficult, lean principles are transferrable to the nonprofit sector, nonprofit organizations can experience efficiency benefits with LMS, implementation of LMS may result in challenges that impede progress and sustainability, and lessons learned from LMS implementation can be applied to future projects or activities. Study findings may provide nonprofit leaders with compelling evidence to implement lean as a management system to improve efficiency within their organization.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Organization Theory|
|Keywords:||Leadership, Nonprofits, Social services|
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