Huang, Huazhang (2015-12). Exploration of Implementation of the Last Planner System of Production Control by Chinese Contractors: A Case Study. Master's Thesis.
During the past two decades, Lean Construction has been utilized in over 200 pilot projects in different countries all over the world except for China. Although qualitative inquiries have been made regarding the applicability of the Last Planner System of Production Control (hereafter referred to as LPS) in China, on site exploration effort of LPS implementation in China is still lacking, and subsequently the clear strategies for implementation on site. The thesis presented the first on site exploration of LPS in China to the scholars and researchers from the lean community worldwide. The main method used in this thesis is case study and literature review. Case study was used to expose the challenges for implementing LPS in China while the literature review was used to find solutions for one challenge revealed in the case study. Major findings of this study include: (1) the main constraints of LPS in China are exclusion of foremen during the planning process, no update on planning information, and lack of cooperation among different parties; (2) the power distance inside the general contractor is relatively easy to solve comparing to the power distance between general contractors and subcontractors; (3) the team leader of the trade foremen can serve as the last planner in China. Findings from a literature review suggest that power distance can be reduced if top management authorizes changes to encourage and reward subordinates to express their opinions. This thesis recommends further research on the adaption of LPS in China. Future work on more pilot projects in China is needed to initiate the use of LPS by Chinese contractors, and then further increase the use of LPS worldwide.