• Fadhilah Mohd Zahari School of Technology Management & Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Norani Nordin School of Technology Management & Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Mohd Norhasni Mohd Asaad School of Technology Management & Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Roshidah Mohamed School of Technology Management & Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia



Lean management, lean tacit knowledge, automotive industry, SMEs, case study


This study explores how SME develops knowledge transfer in Lean management, particularly lean tacit knowledge. Lean tacit knowledge is very significant in ensuring the success of lean management implementation, yet the SMEs often found difficulties due to limited capital and resources. A single case study of Malaysian SME in the automotive industry was selected for this purpose. Results show that lean training, problem solving using case study, factory visit, sharing of lean database and online learning are the common approaches used by the studied company in developing the lean tacit knowledge. Moreover, the accomplishment of this knowledge transfer in lean management necessitates strong commitment from the employees and the top management support. This study incorporates some practical implications for the organizations that aim to implement lean management effectively.


Metrics Loading ...


AlManei, M., Salonitis, K. & Xu, Y. (2017). Lean Implementation Frameworks: The Challenges for SMEs. Procedia CIRP, 63, 750-755. doi: 10.1016/j.procir.2017.03.170
Arnheiter, E. D., & Maleyeff, J. (2005). The integration of lean management and Six Sigma. The TQM magazine, 17(1), 5-18.
Asnan, R., Nordin, N. & Othman, S.N. (2015). Managing change in service sector implementation. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 211, 313-319.
Charron, R., Harrington, H. J., Voehl, F., & Wiggin, H. (2014). The Lean Management Systems Handbook (Vol. 4): CRC Press.
Gabriel, E. (1997). The lean approach to project management. International Journal of Project Management, 15(4), 205-209.
Herron, C., & Hicks, C. (2007). The transfer of selected lean manufacturing techniques from Japanese automotive manufacturing into general manufacturing (UK) through change agents. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 24(4), 524-531.
Kumar, R., & Kumar, V. (2014). Barriers in implementation of lean manufacturing system in Indian industry: A survey. International Journal of Latest Trends in Engineering and Technology, 4(2), 243-251.
Liker, J. K. (2004). The Toyota Way. New York: Mc Graw-Hill.
Marie, J.-L., Bronet, V. & Pillet, M. (2005). A typology of ‘best practices’ for a benchmarking process. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 12(1), 45-60.
Mayr,A., Weighelt, M., Kuhl, A., Grimm, S., Erll, A., Potzel, M. & Franke, J. (2018). Lean 4.0-A conceptual conjunction of lean management & Industry 4.0. Procedia CIRP, 72, 622-628.
Moriarty, J.P. & Smallman, C. (2009). En route to a theory of benchmarking. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 16 (4), 484-503.
Mostafa, S., Dumrak, J. & Hassan, S. (2013) A framework for lean manufacturing implementation. Production & Manufacturing Research, 1(1), 44-64, DOI: 10.1080/21693277.2013.862159
Mrugalska, B. & Wyrwicka, M. K. (2017). Towards Lean Production in Industry 4.0. Procedia Engineering, 182, 466–473.
Muniz, J., Dias Batista Jr, E., & Loureiro, G. (2010). Knowledge-based integrated production management model. Journal of knowledge management, 14(6), 858-871.
Nahapiet, J. & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.
Nordin, N., Mohamed, R., & Uchihira, N. (2019). Model of Tacit Knowledge Transfer in Lean Management Implementation in an Organization. IntechOpen.
Pavnaskar, S., Gershenson, J., & Jambekar, A. (2003). Classification scheme for lean manufacturing tools. International Journal of Production Research, 41(13), 3075-3090.
Recht, R., & Wilderom, C. (1998). Kaizen and culture: on the transferability of Japanese suggestion systems. international business review, 7(1), 7-22.
Rose, A. N. M., Deros, B. M., & Rahman, M. N. A. (2013). Lean Manufacturing Practices Implementation in Malaysian's SME Automotive Component Industry. Paper presented at the Applied Mechanics and Materials.
Spear, S., & Bowen, H. K. (1999). Decoding the DNA of the Toyota production system. Harvard business review, 77, 96-108.
Taj, S. (2005). Applying lean assessment tools in Chinese hi-tech industries. Management Decision, 43(4), 628-643.
Tohidinia, Z., & Mosakhani, M. (2010). Knowledge sharing behaviour and its predictors. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 110(4), 611-631.
Tyagi, S., Cai, X., Yang, K. & Chambers, T. (2015). Lean tools and methods to support efficient knowledge creation. International Journal of Information Management, 35, 204–214.
Wagner, T., Herrmann, C., Thiede, S. (2017). Industry 4.0 impacts on lean production management. Procedia CIRP, 63, 125-131.
Zhou, B. (2016). Lean principles, practices, and impacts: a study on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Ann Operation Research, 241, 457–474. doi: 10.1007/s10479-012-1177-3.




How to Cite

Mohd Zahari, F., Nordin, N., Mohd Asaad, M. N., & Mohamed, R. (2019). KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN LEAN MANAGEMENT: EXPERIENCE FROM MALAYSIAN SME. Journal of Technology and Operations Management, 14(2), 53–61.

Most read articles by the same author(s)