Influence of National Culture on Lean Manufacturing Effectiveness: A Multi-Group Analysis

Published: 1 March 2024| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/k9ns8zbvgy.2
Nguyen Hoang Le


Although numerous studies have explored the technical aspects of lean manufacturing, few have specifically examined the impact of national culture on its effectiveness. Furthermore, the relationship between national culture and operational performance resulting from the practice of lean manufacturing is likely non-linear, leading to inconsistent findings in previous research. To address this gap, this study employs multi-group invariance analyses, which do not rely on strict assumptions of linearity, to investigate how lean manufacturing practices affect operational performance across groups with varying national cultural dimensions. The author developed and tested seven models associated with five cultural dimensions, along with two control variables (type of ownership and enterprise size), using data from 271 global manufacturing plants located in Vietnam. The findings indicate that lean manufacturing is more effective in plants with the following characteristics: 1/ Small size: Smaller plants tend to benefit more from lean practices; 2/ Low power distance: Organizations valuing a flatter hierarchy and reduced power distance experience greater effectiveness; 3/ Low uncertainty avoidance: Cultures that embrace ambiguity and change are better suited for lean implementation; 4/ Feminine culture: Lean practices align well with cultures emphasizing collaboration, empathy, and work-life balance. These results partially support the practice-culture congruence perspective. The dataset below includes processed information from the 271 global manufacturing plants in Vietnam, covering details such as type of ownership, industries of operation, average years of operation, number of employees, and the Cultural Values Scale (CVSCALE), which assesses Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions.


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The data supporting the findings of this study are available upon reasonable request.


Truong Dai hoc Ngan hang Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh


Lean Manufacturing