The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically validate an instrument containing operational measures of lean service. The instrument is intended for use by both researchers and practitioners.

 The instrument was developed and validated in an iterative process between theoretical and empirical insights. Drawing on a wide selection of frequently cited papers on lean service, a preliminary list of items was generated. These items were then vetted through four steps in order to achieve high validity. Empirical refinement and validation included workshops and semi‐structured interviews with expert practitioners, as well as testing the instrument’s ability to discriminate between high and low adoption of lean and portray changes during lean service adoption.

The instrument contains 34 items that assess enablers of lean adoption, lean practices, and operational performance. Empirical validation suggested the instrument was able to discriminate between high and low adoption of lean service, as well as portray changes over time during lean adoption.

Practicing managers will be able to use the instrument in order to track progress during lean service adoption, thereby identifying and acting upon deviations from planned progress.

The paper represents the first comprehensive attempt to develop an instrument for assessing lean service adoption. Through this instrument, operational definitions of lean service will allow researchers to measure the level of lean service adoption, and using this information, to develop knowledge of for instance the contingencies to lean service adoption, the problems and pitfalls in lean service adoption and the feasibility of transferring practices to various service settings.

Malmbrandt, Malin & Åhlström, Pär (2013), “An Instrument for Assessing lean service adoption”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 33 No. 9, pp. 1131-1165

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