Implementing 5S within a Japanese context: An integrated management system
Purpose This paper builds on previous research on the application and understanding of the 5S concept (5S). In order to gain greater understanding of 5S this research identifies and presents the key concepts from a Japanese management perspective and links these to aspects of Japanese management approaches. Design/Methodology Data was collected from organisational websites of Japanese companies that use 5S as a core management approach. This material was examined via the use of Computer-aided lexical analysis (Leximancer) which provides an insight into the nature 5S within a Japanese (original) context. Findings The research provided several findings that indicate key concepts behind the Japanese approach to 5S management. These finding demonstrate both the technical (visible) and philosophical (invisible) approaches required for each of the 5S components and are discussed in a managerial rather than cultural framework. Practical implications The findings are important both practically and theoretically as they provide insight into the meaning and logic that is applied to the application of the 5S management approach within its original environmental context. Originality/value The originality and value of the paper is derived from the holistic understanding of the application of 5S and its use as a problem solving intervention at the system or process level, which is a necessary initiating point within lean management philosophies.