Agility, adaptability and leanness: a comparison of concepts and a study of practice

Hiroshi Katayama, David Bennett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    205 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper deals with three concepts of concern to manufacturing management; agile manufacturing, adaptable production and lean production. These are described and compared within the context of the modern competitive situation in Japan. A survey of Japanese firms is described where the concepts are explored through a number of questions concerned with strategy, action programmes and performance measures. Many companies have responded to the change in economic conditions through a modification of their production operations and by changing their cost structure. The results suggest that companies are trying to realise their cost adaptability through agility enhancement activities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-51
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 1999 Apr 20

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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