Lean, psychological safety, and behavior-based quality: a focus on people and value delivery
A number of issues regarding quality, safety, and production persist in the construction industry. These issues arise in the form of rework, accidents, delays, cost overruns, and loss of trust. The way companies have been dealing with these issues is problematic because of an insufficiently broad perspective on interconnected processes and overreliance on buffering as opposed to reducing the negative variation itself. One gap in our knowledge concerns the influence of human factors in the design and success of construction processes. Psychological safety, a construct that can help to bridge this gap, is based on assessments about the risks associated with an action. Lean principles, such as respect for people, can be fostered through people being aware of each other’s level of psychological safety. This is shown on site when people speak up without constraints, understand each other’s expectations, and come to an agreement about the work, which follows the behavior-based quality (BBQ) approach. The paper highlights theoretical conceptions to describe how underlying ideas about Lean, psychological safety, and BBQ are connected in a people-centered approach to improve value delivery. The exploratory research presented in this paper provides empirical evidence to illustrate the linkage of these ideas in practice.