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Lean-Based Business Models

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

Guest Editors: Susana Duarte and V. Cruz-Machado


As a way to understand business dynamics, many organizations shape their business model. Lean management is an approach with principles, tools and systems that facilitate business improvement in all processes within and between organizations. Through a lean transformation process, organizations and their supply chains can achieve high levels of business performance. There are various business models embodied with frameworks that help in the organizational transformation to lean management (Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2013). Through the business model, it is possible to evaluate the success of business.

There are various maturity models and lean assessment tools. An example is the well-known Shingo Model, which evaluates the quality of lean program deployment (SP, 2012). However, there is still an interest in how to assess the success of the lean transformation, which criteria of lean implementation are determined, and which measurement instruments should be applied. In addition, lean should be integrated with environmental sustainability to promote a better sustainable business (Azevedo et al., 2011; Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2016). An example of this is the removal of non-value added activities, which, lean suggests, can provide energy savings which integrate the principles of green management (Carvalho et al., 2013). Several similarities are found in lean and green management approaches (Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2013; Dües et al., 2013; Garza-Reyes, 2015); but the development of frameworks to evaluate organizational business in terms of a lean and green transformation is something that must be deepened (Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2017). Different criteria are already proposed in order to evaluate lean and green transformation; namely leadership, people, strategic planning, stakeholders, processes and results (Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2013). An assessment framework to evaluate a lean and green supply chain is also presented (Duarte and Cruz-Machado, 2017) and a maturity model is proposed based on different kinds of waste (Verrier et al., 2016).

Although lean benefits are already well documented, from the view of practitioners, the current frameworks and roadmaps seem incomprehensive (Mostafa et al., 2015).  The baseline for a lean transformation and how this is defined through a business model, are not well defined. Organizations should understand, during a transformation, what is the right work to do, in the right way with the right capabilities in order to bring value to its customers.


A new contribution should define specifically a model to help researchers and practitioners in the transformation journey and/or in the evaluation of their implementation. There exists limited understanding of which lean initiatives integrated with green initiatives should be implemented to achieve a "best-in-class" organization.  A reference baseline or guidelines defining the best initiatives for implementation is a subject that needs to be better structured. As the business model allows organizations to ensure the adoption of important principles, tools and systems for their strategic, tactical or operational management, there is a strong conviction that this is an important contribution, especially for lean and its integration with green management. This topic has been covered with regards to lean implementation but not as a universal journey form on business transformation.


This Special Issue of "Lean-Based Business models" invites papers covering recent novel studies on lean management within and between organizations with a focus on the integration with green management. Theoretical studies, review papers and empirical research using quantitative or qualitative methods are welcome. Real-world applications and business models are encouraged.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following research themes:

  • Self-assessment models in terms of a lean and green integrated approach
  • Benchmarking lean business with environmental sustainability focus on specific industrial sectors.
  • Business process improvement in terms of lean principles, tools and systems.
  • The impact of lean and green paradigms in business sustainability.
  • A roadmap to implement lean and green principles and tools within and between organizations.
  • Proposed innovative business models integrating lean and green theories and practices.
  • Lean and green business model evolving around Industry 4.0.
  • Proposed dynamic models for lean and green transformation.

Submission Guidelines

In preparing manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines at
To submit your paper online you must first create an author account at then follow the on-screen guidance which takes you through the submission process. If you do not have an author account on International Journal of Lean Six Sigma then you will need to create yourself an account, even if you have an account on a different journal. Please see the instructions below explaining how to register.

Registering on ScholarOne Manuscripts

  1. Log on to
  2. Click on the create account link at the top right of the screen.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, filling in the requested details before proceeding.
  4. Your username will be your email address and you have to input a password.
  5. Click 'Finish' and your account has been created.


Guest Editors

Susana Duarte

UNIDEMI - Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

V. Cruz-Machado
UNIDEMI - Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Submission deadline

Full paper submissions are due December 31, 2017


  • Azevedo, S. G., Carvalho, H., Duarte, S. and Cruz-Machado, V. (2012), “Influence of green and lean upstream supply chain management practices on business sustainability”. Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 753-765
  • Carvalho H., S. Azevedo and V. Cruz-Machado (2013), "Trade-offs among Lean, Agile, Resilient and Green Paradigms in Supply Chain Management: A Case Study Approach". In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Management Science and Engineering Management, Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, Vol. 242, pp 953-968
  • Duarte, S. and Cruz-Machado, V. (2017), “Green and lean implementation: an assessment in the automotive industry”, International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol.8, No. 1, pp.65-88
  • Duarte, S. and Cruz-Machado, V. (2016). Green and Lean Model for Business Sustainability. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Management Science and Engineering Management, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Vol. 502, pp. 1281-1292
  • Duarte, S. and Cruz-Machado, V. (2013), “Modelling lean and green: a review from business models”,  International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp.228-250
  • Dües, C. M., Tan, K. H. and Lim, M., (2013), "Green as the new Lean: how to use Lean practices as a catalyst to greening your supply chain", Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol.40, pp.93-100. 
  • Garza-Reyes, J.A. (2015),"Green lean and the need for Six Sigma", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 226-248
  • Mostafa, S. Dumrak, J. and Soltan, H. (2013), "A framework for lean manufacturing implementation", Production & Manufacturing Research: An Open Access Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 44-64.
  • SP (The Shingo Prize), “The Shingo Prize Model & Application Guidelines”, The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, Jon M. Hustsman School of Business, Utah State University, 2012, version 7.
  • Verrier, B., Rose, B. and Caillaud, E. (2016), “Lean and Green strategy: the Lean and Green House and maturity deployment model”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 116, pp. 150-156