This book explores how Lean – a global management doctrine – operates and is adopted in the real, corporeal, collective, and affective environments of health and social care services.

During Lean implementation processes, knowledges, affects, skills, and materialities come together in manifold, complex ways. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and observation, and with empirical and theoretical rigour, the book provides an answer to the question of what happens to care work when processes become ‘Leaned’. As in many other fields, the predominantly female health and social care sectors suffer from devaluation in terms of wages and working conditions. The book explores how Lean management is ultimately lived in this gendered context of work and labour. Moreover, the book situates Lean and related management doctrines in the current mutation of capitalism – that is, biocapitalism – in which bios, life itself, becomes the core of value production.

The book adds to the corpus of work, organisation, and management studies on Lean that have rarely focused on gender, affect, or sociomateriality. It provides scholars in Social Science, Management, and Gender Studies with a fresh outlook and a cross-disciplinary take on Lean management.

The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license. Funded by University of Eastern Finland.

chapter 1|21 pages


ByHelena Hirvonen, Eeva Jokinen, Laura Mankki, Iiris Lehto, Timo Aho
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chapter 2|28 pages

Theoretical toolbox and methodological approaches

ByLaura Mankki, Timo Aho, Eeva Jokinen, Helena Hirvonen, Iiris Lehto
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chapter 3|20 pages

Gender in biocapitalism

ByEeva Jokinen, Timo Aho, Laura Mankki, Helena Hirvonen, Iiris Lehto
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chapter 4|25 pages

Temporal architecture of Leaned welfare service work

ByIiris Lehto
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chapter 5|19 pages

Lean expertise as situated knowledge in Lean translations

ByHelena Hirvonen
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chapter 6|27 pages


Opening and closing black boxes in Lean training
ByTimo Aho
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chapter 7|20 pages

(Un)doing happy Lean

Affective configurations of humour and resistance in Lean training
ByLaura Mankki
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chapter 8|20 pages

Affective encounters in welfare service work

ByEeva Jokinen
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chapter 9|9 pages


Lean as a radical attempt to reorganise welfare service work
ByEeva Jokinen, Helena Hirvonen, Laura Mankki, Timo Aho, Iiris Lehto
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