Model for change in production systems triggered by environmental requirements considerations, drivers, key factors

University dissertation from Västerås : Mälardalen University

Abstract: Industry is a key player in the transition to a sustainable society where manufacturing companies need to respond to the challenges of environmental concerns in several ways. Still, even if several efforts have been made in practise and academia, more research within operations management is addressed in relation to implementing sustainable solutions. The management of change in production systems, such as energy efficiency, will be one of the important future areas for the industry.In accordance, the objective of the licentiate thesis is, by theoretical and empirical work, focused on developing a model to support the implementation of environmental requirements. Literature reviews as well as two empirical case studies have been conducted in order to explore the environmentally driven change. The first case study conducted is an retrospective multiple case study, including four cases studying the implications of implementation of technology and identifying key factors effecting the outcome of the change. The second case study is an international multiple study, including nine case companies. The study explores what needs to be considered, the drivers for initiating change as well as the key factors effecting the outcome of the change process. The studies conducted and the results are presented in five appended papers.The research identifies three important links for managing environmentally driven change: how the requirements are introduced, how and if the link between strategic and operational level has been considered and how the need for change is transferred to action and implementation. By providing a system approach for managing change, it also points out the importance of understanding the organisational abilities and maturity of the companies that influence the projects. The result points out sets of drivers as well as key factors, related to the organisational abilities, that are effecting the outcome.As future research the model, that is developed to support operations management in their work to implement environmentally driven change, needs to be validated in practise. In particular research on the personal commitment and the collaboration is addressed to be studied in relation to a systematic approach as well as how to balance the priorities during the implementation.