Towards a high-performance HR bundle process for lean service operations

Araz Zirar, Clive Trusson, Alok Choudhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This article presents an empirically-induced ‘high performance’ ‘Human Resources (HR) bundle’, comprising six HR practices, for supporting lean service operations.
Design/methodology/approach – A multiple case study. A qualitative dataset, including transcripts from 27 semi-structured in-depth interviews with lean practitioners from across five service organizations that have adopted lean practices, was thematically analysed to establish key HR practices on the road to lean maturity.
Findings – A ‘high performance’ HR bundle of three work practices and three employment practices emerged from the analysis. These practices typically mature implicitly rather than systematically to support organizations in successfully implementing lean service operations, by: resourcing the most suitable people for carefully-defined roles; providing workers with extensive lean training opportunities; 2 appraising workers’ performances such that lean-behaviours are recognized and rewarded; and encouraging a participative teamworking culture.
Research limitations/implications – This article uses cross-sectional data from five case studies to induce a ‘high performance’ ‘HR bundle’ theoretical model and process. A larger number of case studies and/or longitudinal data would add credence.
Practical implications – Lean service managers should regard HR practices as integral to the lean maturation process and might usefully conceive of them as processes allowing for greater management control to achieve incremental improvements to lean service provision.
Originality/value - The article provides deeper understanding of the importance of HR practice for lean service organizations and offers practical suggestions for managing HR practices in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-45
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
Issue number1
Early online date25 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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