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Lean – a Japanese Management Concept in Steady Evolution

April 15th, 2016

On April 11, 2016, GU School of Executive Education co-organized a networking event together with West Sweden Asia Gateway. The participants were specially invited as current or graduated students at the Gothenburg Executive MBA Programme, or members of West Sweden Asia Gateway.

The theme “Lean – a Japanese Management Concept in Steady Evolution” was presented by Professor Mats Magnusson, Royal Institute of Technology. Prof. Magnusson has 25 years of experience working across various leading Swedish and international firms focusing on various areas of strategic management, innovation and learning – including the concept of “lean”. Beside his assignment at Royal Institute of Technology he is also a permanent Visiting Professor at LUISS School of Business and Management.

From the left: Håkan Ericson, CEO at GU School of Executive Education, Wayne Brailsford, Project Director at AstraZeneca and Executive MBA graduate 2012 and Professor Mats Magnusson, Royal Institute of Technology.
From the left: Håkan Ericson, CEO at GU School of Executive Education, Wayne Brailsford, Project Director at AstraZeneca and Executive MBA graduate 2012, and Professor Mats Magnusson, Royal Institute of Technology.

Prof. Magnusson discussed how the lean philosophy in Japan is context-specific and how non-Japanese companies have to redefine the ever-evolving Japanese lean concepts to their own contexts and circumstances.

One of the takeaways from the lecture was that Lean can be described as matter of flow, both in terms of materials (lean production), of knowledge (lean product development), as well as opportunities (lean start-up).

Professor Mats Magnusson lecturing on the theme “Lean – a Japanese Management Concept in Steady Evolution”
Professor Mats Magnusson lecturing on the theme “Lean – a Japanese Management Concept in Steady Evolution”

Professor Magnusson closed the session by reflecting on how Western companies tend to emphasize on output compared to Japanese companies, which rather focus on process. There are many uncertainties for the future of lean. Is there a future viability of the Japanese way of working? This question, among others, was discussed at the end of the lecture.

Mats_Magnusson_160411_1_LQ
Gothenburg Executive MBA alumni and members of West Sweden Asia Gateway, listening to Professor Mats Magnusson

After the lecture, our event participants were invited to network while enjoying some premium non-alcoholic wine by Richard Juhlin.

For more information, please visit:

West Sweden Asia Gateway

Professor Mats Magnusson

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