Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Dr. David J. Meade
Dr. David M. Lyth
Dr. John A. Patten
Dr. E. Brooks Applegate
Lean Manufacturing and Green Manufacturing systems co-occur in many manufacturing facilities. This dissertation investigated the relationship between materials recycling—as an important green waste-reduction technique—and lean techniques, and their influence on lean outcomes, specifically 1) if a correlation exists between lean techniques and material recycling, as these two variables also influence lean outcomes; and 2) the mediating effect of materials recycling between lean techniques and lean outcomes. Exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling were the chosen statistical analysis methods utilized to explore and confirm the lean techniques and lean outcomes constructs, test the models’ hypotheses and answer the research questions. The objective was to determine if materials recycling aids lean techniques in improving lean outcomes. Results showed that the implementation of materials recycling is significantly correlated with the implementation of lean techniques; and materials recycling enhances lean outcomes associated with cost reduction and improved delivery. Moreover, the implementation of lean techniques associated with continuous improvement, supply chain improvement, and quality, lead to the implementation of materials recycling, which in turn reduces costs and improves delivery outcomes. Finally, in manufacturing operations running two or more shifts, the implementation of materials recycling correlates with the implementation of lean techniques associated with automation, supply chain improvement, and quality; and materials recycling enhances lean outcomes associated with increased quality and improved flexibility. Additionally, the implementation of lean techniques associated with continuous improvement, supply chain improvement, and quality, lead to the implementation of materials recycling, which in turn increases quality and improves flexibility outcomes. Explaining the specific relationship between Lean Manufacturing and materials recycling, this research advances good theory and broadens the body of knowledge by greatly expanding on past studies through the employment of structural equation modeling combined with an extensive dataset. The results of this study make a direct contribution to theory and real world applications in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering field. This research differentiates between current, competing theories, clearly explaining how specific relationships lead to specific events; and these explanations are critical for good theory building.
Glass-Hedges, Marylin N., "Recycling in a Lean Environment" (2015). Dissertations. 740.