An investigation of competencies for managing lean projects in Irish hospitals: A mixed methods study

Walsh, Aidan (2022) An investigation of competencies for managing lean projects in Irish hospitals: A mixed methods study. Doctoral thesis, SETU Waterford.

[thumbnail of Aidan Walsh - Student No 91127131 - PhD Dissertation - Oct 22 - Amended for External Examiner Suggestions.pdf] Text
Aidan Walsh - Student No 91127131 - PhD Dissertation - Oct 22 - Amended for External Examiner Suggestions.pdf

Download (3MB)


Increasing demand for the provision of healthcare services pose significant pressures for hospitals that function in resource-constrained environments (Leite et al., 2022). Improvement approaches adopted from industry, such as lean management, are being increasingly implemented in healthcare organisations (Rotter et al., 2018). Implementing a lean management approach in hospital organisations is not straightforward, and in healthcare, lean implementation outcomes are not yet evidence based (Lawal et al., 2014). As managers play a key role in the success of any organisation, there is value in understanding the competencies that influence managerial effectiveness (Steyn and van Staden, 2018). Management competence positively influence healthcare service delivery and organisational success (Liang et al., 2017). Calls have been made for further research concerning the role of the lean healthcare project leader (Souza et al., 2018). This research identifies and investigates competencies for managing lean improvement projects in public hospitals in Ireland. This research adopts a philosophical approach of engaged constructionism, recognising that human development is socially situated and knowledge develops through interactions with others (Easterby-Smith et al., 2015). A pragmatic and interpretative approach is utilised, reflecting that management research should contribute to both theory development and management practice. A mixed method design is utilised that consists of a Modified Delphi technique and critical-incident interviews. The Modified Delphi technique comprised four rounds that included an initial round of open-ended questions, followed by three consecutive rounds of closed-ended questions, employing a Likert scale, rating competency statements on their relative importance to lean improvement project success. Critical-incident interviews were held with 17 participants in a project manager, or a project lead, role in hospitals in Ireland. The data collected from the field research were analysed statistically using SPSS software and analysed thematically using NVivo software. This research develops a visual map that contextualises the challenges facing healthcare organisations (see Fig. 1.1) and puts forward a human resource development approach, viewing strategy through a resource-based view and lean lens that seeks to maximise value for patients and minimise resource spend. Many lean healthcare implementations are project based (Souza et al., 2018; Regis et al., 2019). This research develops a competency model for managing lean improvement projects in hospitals, containing 90 competency statements and six competency domains. A conceptual framework (see Figure 9.3) is also developed that describes the application of this model in a broader organisational and healthcare system context, highlighting practical implications of the model at individual, team-level, and project manager roles, in addition to organisational applications. The research contributes to the existing literature base in the competency management and lean management literatures. A contribution is also made by considering the application of the resource-based view as a lens to consider how a human resource, namely, the lean project manager, can be supported in their role of delivering lean project outcomes, thus supporting organisational strategy. Capability deficits are identified in hospitals in Ireland in certain competency areas. Recommendations are made for further research in lean competencies and for further testing of the competency model and the conceptual framework in sectors other than the healthcare sector.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lean projects, hospitals, management
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2022 10:43
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 10:43

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item