A study on nonlinear effects of national culture on lean management and its outcomes


  • N. Jayamaha Massey University, New Zealand
  • N. Grigg Massey University, New Zealand
  • N. Pallawala Massey University, New Zealand


Using data collected from a large sample of Toyota’s sales and marketing staff (n = 2195)
across 22 countries, we tested the nature of the relationships between national culture dimensions (NCDs) and practitioner’s acceptance for lean management (LM) via cause and
effect hypotheses formulated via the literature. Our causal hypotheses were supported by data,
but we found significant nonlinear relationships characterising the causal relationships. The
characteristic curves we derived to represent these relationships (via the partial least squares
regression method) help academia and practitioners to better understand how LM works across
cultures. We also studied how NCDs and economic development moderate the effectiveness
of LM. We did not find any moderation effect. We have suggested that national culture and
economy of a country may not constrain LM when it comes to a simple task such as selling
Toyota automobiles in the local market.
Keywords: Lean management, national culture dimensions, Toyota Way, partial least squares regression