Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Linehan


This study provides an analysis of lean management procedures within Irish motor retailers from the perspective of senior managers working in franchised Audi and Volkswagen dealerships. Richardson (2007) suggests the danger for some organisations operating in good economic conditions is the ability of poor performers to earn healthy profits through little effort, thereby creating a lack of urgency to improve processes within the business. This may be applicable to motor dealerships in Ireland since the advent of the “Celtic Tiger”. Advocates of lean management contend the implementation of lean techniques can increase efficiency within an organisation and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

The implementation and effects of lean management within the Irish motor industry is a relatively unexplored area. The particular focus of this study is on the perceptions of senior managers within Irish motor dealerships who have implemented lean management in relation to its significance to increasing quality standards, performance and customer satisfaction levels. Additionally, the views of senior management within dealerships who are aware of lean management but have not embarked on its implementation are also included. Eleven interviews were conducted in total, seven of which were with senior managers representing dealerships who have implemented lean management techniques. Three interviews represent the views of managers within dealerships who have not implemented lean, while one interview gains an insight into the impact of lean management within the dealerships from the perspective of the distributor.

Overall, the study shows that where lean management has been implemented it has had a positive influence. Additionally, the study reveals that when a thorough understanding and commitment to lean is present there are many benefits for an organisation and its people. Finally, in agreement with many advocates of lean management the study suggests that lean is a long term project which requires commitment and patience.

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