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Date(s) - 06/05/2015
12 h 15 min - 14 h 00 min


L’étrange odyssée du “lean management”:
De l’enquête pragmatiste au contrôle taylorien

Philippe Lorino, Professeur éminent à l’ESSEC Business School, Paris

Date: Mercredi 6 mai 2015, de 12h15 à 14h00
Lieu: Salle Sony, 1er étage (section jaune), HEC Montréal

Évènement gratuit (Apportez votre lunch)

Conférence en français avec powerpoint en anglais


This research studies the curious odyssey of “Lean Management”… Under this label, managerial ideas and practices have undergone, first a step towards process thinking, and then a striking return to variance-based control habits. The presentation will first recall the key ideas originally highlighted by the pioneers of “lean management” (Shewhart, Deming, Ohno) and their distinctly processual / practice orientation, just after Second World War: key role of field actors as “the thinkers of activity” (Ohno), emphasis on the improvement rather than planned theoretical objectives (“not zero defect, but one less every day”), importance of slack and reflexivity, collective effort excluding individualization, exploratory attitude combining future-orientation and experimentation. It will show the original theoretical inspiration of the pioneers of Total Quality Management (Shewhart and Deming), who studied pragmatist philosophy and tried to operationalize some of its key ideas (inquiry, experimental approach, primacy of practice, key role of semiotic mediations), in particular through the famous “PDSA” Deming cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act). The practices today labelled as “Lean Management” demonstrate a surprising historical reversal: individualization, theoretical optimization based on off-the-field models and algorithms, variance-based corrective action based on past standards, systematic elimination of slack. This reversal can be summarized by the transformation of the exploratory “PDSA” (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle into the control “PDCA” cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). A small letter (S to C), a big change for organizational actors… An empirical illustration (the activity design and the performance management of call centres in the customer service of Electricité de France) will be presented. Some hypotheses will be made about the reasons of such a historical reversal (dominant managerial approaches to temporality, slack and waste; to experimentation and risk; to the individual or collective dimension of performance).


Cette conférence est présentée en collaboration avec le Groupe d’étude sur la pratique de la stratégie et la Chaire de recherche en gestion stratégique dans un contexte pluraliste





Pour voir l’annonce en version pdf, cliquez ici.