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Lean Operations and Business Purposes: A Common Grace Perspective

Thomas M. Smith


The concept of lean operations is becoming increasingly popular and beginning to filter into many nonmanufacturing applications. This widespread use and popularity of the term lean operations has also given rise to a confusing and jumbled mix of several interrelated concepts, theories, constructs, principles, and practices. The protective theme embedded in a Reformed theological concept of common grace is the lens through which to consider and assess the principles and practices that make up the concept of lean operations. The protective function is seen as the element of common grace that exercises a bridling or tempering effect on the natural outworking of sin. To these ends, this article develops a conceptual model of lean operations and how lean operations affect business purposes, in particular the normative business purpose of providing opportunities for meaningful work.

Thomas M. Smith, "Lean Operations and Business Purposes: A Common Grace Perspective," Journal of Markets & Morality 18, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 139-162

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