Et forsvar for lean? Om implementeringen af lean i Forsvarets Materieltjeneste

Helene Louise Friis Ratner

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent decades the public sector has witnessed a radical growth in the utilization of steering technologies. With the implementation of these technologies, the importance of employee engagement is emphasized, and debates about which technologies can result in positive change have materialized. This master thesis shows that successful implementation of technologies cannot be reduced to a question of employees’ motivation or the inherent characteristics of a technology. This is based on 1.5 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the supply department of The Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation where 1/3 of the department introduces the technology lean. Using the performative approach of actor-network theory, the thesis asks how lean transforms and is transformed in the supply department and which forms of management arise from those transformations. The analysis is divided into three parts. Firstly, it is argued that lean transforms a stressful open office to a functional refuge where employees can legitimately ask for help, reduce interruptions and calculate their work in new ways. The second analysis shows how within the supply department, relationships between members initially become one of antagonism and when a new organizational change is presented this changes to agonism. In the process, lean changes from being a threat to non-participants of lean, into a strategic tool used in rebellion against the new change. The final analysis investigates how the managers’ premise for communication changes during the employees’ mobilization of lean. Three forms of management are developed from the analyses: Multiplicity Management which transforms the spatial dimension, Purification Management which transforms the social dimension and Postponement Management which transforms the temporal dimension. The findings indicate that employees utilize technologies strategically, attesting that organizational transformations cannot be understood as linear results from a technology. Rather, transformations are heterogeneous processes involving spatial, social and temporal changes at all levels of an organization.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2008
Number of pages96