Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

John Markevicz


Organizations are frequently faced with the challenges of modifying and streamlining their processes by utilizing the latest process improvement techniques such as Lean Thinking. They use these techniques to allow them to better perform their organizational purposes through the elimination of waste and non-value added steps. Personnel performing these modifications need to account for potential outcomes and risks when streamlining processes. An association of knowledge transfer and experience to the identification and handling of these countervailing or alternative risks when performing Lean Thinking value stream analysis is investigated. The elements of risk management, Lean Thinking and knowledge transfer are described.

This dissertation presents the results of a non-experimental examination to identify knowledge transfer as a means to promote management of countervailing risks that may arise when performing Value Stream Analysis and provides a foundation for future research. A research model was formulated, and a survey instrument developed with data collected from Department of the Navy personnel during Lean Thinking events. Quantitative data analysis supported the research question and showed an association between a decision-maker's knowledge from other projects and the identification and handling of countervailing risks that arise during Value Stream Analysis.