The 5s in management

The 5s explanation

The 5s is one of the lean tools that an organizations use to analyze its workplace organization abilities and visual management standards. Moreover, it engages individuals in the use of standards and discipline. The 5s are Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardization, and Sustain. The various phases of 5s are applied in the management of a system.


The article by Gala & Wolniak (2013) presents the challenges that take place during the implementation of the 5s. This article differs from another journal article such as Ikuma & Nahmens (2014), Singh & Ahuja (2014), and McNamara (2014) in many ways. Therefore, in regards to role Gala and Wolniak majors on explaining the challenges that take place in the implementation of the 5s while McNamara talks about the psychological factors which influence the sustainability of the 5s lean. Singh & Ahuja examines the impact of the 5s methodology on manufacturing performance, Ikuma and Nahmens explain making safety an important factor of the 5s in the healthcare.

Moreover, Gala and Wolniak acts as an informative journal and uses theoretical concepts to explain the various case studies whereas Ikuma & Nahmens is a report based and also uses case study mechanism as a source of information. McNamara also involves a study to explain the psychological factors that affect the sustainability of the 5s drawing information from the first-hand interview with the participants. Singh & Ahuja uses a test mechanism to determine the impact of the 5s methodology on performance compared to Gala and Wolniak which tends to inform on the 5s implementation problems. Moreover, as Gala and Wolniak use theoretical concepts for the study, Srinivasan, Ikuma, Shakouri, Nahmens & Harvey uses design methodology for research.

Article Summary

The article by Gala and Wolniak presents the challenges that take place during the implementation process of the 5s. They provide the theoretical description of the lean management and the 5s to indicate the case study in regards to the gained experience. For instance, the lean management concept aims at flattening the organization structure and other tasks. They also provide the necessary tools for the lean management as 5s, value stream mapping, SMED, TPM, Kaizen, Kanban, and the Poka-Yoke. The tool 5s represents the various uncomplicated rule which allows one arrange a workplace in a clean, orderly and efficient manner.

Moreover, the case study presents the various 5s steps such as selection of the project management and team. The systematic phase involves concerned cleaning using the appropriate machines. The other part of the 5s is also described to the final. Therefore, from the various challenges, the two important ones were identified because they affect the process of implementation leading to abnormal operations of the system. The first issue is the resistance of staff in making changes and the second is the absence of involvement of the top management in the concept of 5s. The evaluation of the reasons for the problems identified in the cause-effect relationship was applied.


In the present competitive environment, the smart companies are advancing growth through leaner tasks. Adopting the lean operations which majors on the elimination of the waste, create cost savings whereas creating a surrounding of a continuous advancement. Most manufacturing facilities have opted to follow in the direction of the 5s as part of a regular advancement program. Moreover, the idea behind 5s has been applied in the workplace for cleaning out and identifying waste more efficiently. It has also been used to assist organizations to reduce the waste and advance possible profits. This is because of the 5s majors on efficient workplace and proper work procedures.

Annotated Bibliography

Ikuma, L. H., & Nahmens, I. (2014). Making safety an integral part of 5S in healthcare. Work, 47(2), 243-251.

Ikuma and Nahmens in the article explored the aspect of making safety as an important part of 5s in healthcare. According to Ikuma and Nahmens, healthcare faces a lot of problems with provider safety and also using lean to analyze the change. The 5s as one of the lean tool has become popular in improving the efficiency of the physical work surrounding and it can also advance safety. They have discussed two arguments on how safety is connected to 5s. In the method section, they reported the 5s events from the five departments in a single health system which were used. According to them, the result was that safety was influenced positively in every phase of the 5s by initial safety objectives and the side effects of other modifications. 

Gala, B., & Wolniak, R. (2013). Problems of implementation 5S practices in an industrial company. Management Systems in Production Engineering.

The article authors Gala and Wolniak explained the challenges of implementing 5s in an industrial organization. They state that 5s is one of the tools of lean management which enables organizations to work appropriately. According to Gala and Wolniak, there exist various challenges but two among them are more important because it affects the process of implementation which can result in abnormal operation of the system. The challenges are like the resistance of the employees in regards to making changes in the organization and also the lack of involvements of the management in the aspect of 5s.

Singh, A., & Ahuja, I. S. (2014). Evaluating the impact of 5S methodology on manufacturing performance. International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management, 5(4), 272-305.

Singh and Ahuja focus on examining the impact of the 5s methodology the achievement of a manufacturing organization.  It is imperative that the geographical barriers as well as the pressure of competition from the global market, efficiency has become an essential factor for an organization. Therefore, the 5s is a business advancement strategy that tends to identify and also get rid of the causes of defects in business operations. Singh and Ahuja perform a study which allowed them to shortlist the contributions of a strategic 5s plan the performance of an organization. Thus, 5s is a managerial approach that is used to improve the performance of an organization.

McNamara, P. (2014). Psychological factors that are affecting the sustainability of 5S lean. International Journal of Lean Enterprise Research, 1(1), 94-111.

McNamara takes a different approach on the aspect of 5s by investigating the psychological factors affecting the 5s lean sustainability. The author tends to explore and examine the element of failure in a given company by finding out about the psychology of the participants involved and how they are affected by 5s. Moreover, he identifies the need of considering human aspect in the manufacturing because it plays a significant role in the operating system performance. The author uses a case study to outline the benefits of behavioral operations study and the need for awareness.

Srinivasan, S., Ikuma, L. H., Shakouri, M., Nahmens, I., & Harvey, C. (2016). 5S impact on safety climate of manufacturing workers. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(3), 364-378.

Srinivasan, Ikuma, Shakouri, Nahmens & Harvey explains the impact of the 5s on safety environment for manufacturing staffs. According to the authors, the 5s is a commonly used lean tool that centers on building a planned work region, but its impact is not adequately handled. They use design approach in examining the effects of the 5s safety on the product packing region of a manufacturing plant. It was identified that overall safety environment was advanced for the case group but remained the same for the control group through the research period. The results offer a further incentive for management to go on with the 5s to improve safety.

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