Lean Enabling Capacity Building for Construction SMEs

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   Dr. Tharusha Ranadewa

Supervisor: Prof. (Mrs) Y Sandanayake, Dr. M Siriwardena 

Department: Building Economics 

Faculty: Architecture

Lean implementation has embarked a positive trend in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry.

Although lean construction challenges and solutions to overcome them have been previously explored in the international arena, there is a dearth of research on lean in Sri Lankan context. While exacerbating the situation, capacity building to overcome lean barriers is often overlooked in construction SMEs. Hence, this research aimed to develop a lean enabling capacity building framework for construction SMEs in Sri Lanka.

The research adopted ontological, idealist assumptions in the interpretive paradigm for the study to collect, analyse and validate data. Round-1 included data collection from five construction SMEs and round-2 included 24 expert interviews.

Findings were extended to develop a SWOT analysis and 5-Whys analysis for construction SMEs. Further, drivers, barriers, lean enabling capacities and capacity building strategies at individual, organisational and environmental levels of construction SMEs were identified. The developed framework contributes to the body of knowledge as it uncovers three level strategies for enabling lean through capacity building in Sri Lankan construction SMEs. The research outcomes will be beneficial to construction SMEs, academics, researchers, and government institutions in developing countries sharing similar socio-economic, demographic or cultural traits to Sri Lanka.

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Abstract                                                                                                     

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