1. bookVolume 29 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
30 Mar 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Covid-19 Impact on Moroccan Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Can Lean Practices Be an Effective Solution for Getting Out of Crisis?

Published Online: 21 May 2021
Page range: 83 - 90
Received: 01 Sep 2020
Accepted: 01 Feb 2021
Journal Details
First Published
30 Mar 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The COVID-19 crisis hit the economy hard, it is a global situation of declining activity due to a highly contagious disease which has pushed the world to the brink of a deeper recession than ever. Small and medium-sized enterprises constitute 92% of the Moroccan economic fabric, they are among the organizations most seriously affected by the current pandemic. This paper examines the problems that exist before and during this crisis, in order to raise major challenges and choose the ideal approach that will strengthen the competitiveness of these companies. the analysis is based on secondary data and the literature to demonstrate the different constraints of these companies and to show the importance of lean manufacturing as the guarantor of industrial performance. the main question is how the alignment of Lean principals goes well with the desired improvement and with the constraints posed by this crisis, the primary objective of Lean is to provide the means to succeed and accelerate competitiveness. Finally, these circumstances can be a real opportunity to assist Small and Medium Moroccan companies to integrate the methods they need, and “Lean approach” is one of the best performance solutions to adopt in a post COVID-19.


[1] F.A. Abdulmalek, J. Rajgopal. “Analyzing the benefits of lean manufacturing and value stream mapping via simulation: A process sector case study.” International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 107, no. 1, pp. 223-236, May 2007. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpe.2006.09.009. Search in Google Scholar

[2] A. Ait Ali et al. “La Stratégie Du Maroc Face Au COVID-19.” Policy Center for the New South, p. 37, Apr. 2020. Search in Google Scholar

[3] Asli, A. Zohri, N. Manzani. “Factors That Explain Entrepreneurial Failure Of Moroccan SMES, An Exploratory Study.” Presented at the 8th International OFEL Conference on Governance, Management and Entrepreneur-ship, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Apr. 2020, p. 2016. Search in Google Scholar

[4] S. Bahyaoui. “Systèmes De Mesure De La Performance (SMP) Dans Les PME Marocaines: Les Résultats D’une Recherche Exploratoire.” European Scientific Journal, ESJ, vol. 13, no. 10, p. 149, Apr. 2017. DOI:10.19044/esj.2017.v13n10p149. Search in Google Scholar

[5] G. Baglin, M. Capraro. “L’Entreprise Lean Production ou la PME compétitive par l’action collective.” Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 1999. Search in Google Scholar

[6] R. Balakrishnan, T.J. Linsmeier, M. Venkatachalam. “Financial Benefits from JIT Adoption: Effects of Customer Concentration and Cost Structure.” The Accounting Review, vol. 71, no. 2, 1996, pp. 183-205. Search in Google Scholar

[7] R. Baldwin, E. Tomiura. “Thinking ahead about the trade impact of COVID-19”, in Economics in the Time of COVID-19, vol. 59, London: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2020. pp. 59-71. Search in Google Scholar

[8] A. Belhadi, F.E. Touriki, S. El Fezazi. “Road Map for the Implementation of Lean production tools in SMEs”, in Proceedings of International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 8-10, 2016. Search in Google Scholar

[9] J. Bessant, D. Francis. “Developing strategic continuous improvement capability”. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 1999. vol. 19, no 11, pp. 1106-1119. Search in Google Scholar

[10] N. Bilalis, G. Scroubelos, A. Antoniadis, D. Emiris and D. Koulouriotis. “Visual factory: Basic principles and the ‘zoning’ approach. ” International Journal of Production Research, vol. 40, no. 15, 2002, pp. 3575-3588, DOI:10.1080/00207540210140031. Search in Google Scholar

[11] T. Bonavia, J.A. M. Garcia. “Integrating human resource management into lean production and their impact on organizational performance”. International Journal of Manpower, vol. 32, no. 8, 2011, pp. 923-938, DOI:10.1108/01437721111181679. Search in Google Scholar

[12] N. Bontis, M.M. Crossan, J. Hulland. “Managing An Organizational Learning System By Aligning Stocks and Flows. ” Journal of Management Studies, vol. 39, no. 4, 2002, pp. 437-469, DOI:10.1111/1467-6486.t01-1-00299. Search in Google Scholar

[13] N. Boso, V.M. Story, J.W. Cadogan., J. Annan, S. Kadić-Maglajlić and M. Micevski. “Enhancing the sales benefits of radical product innovativeness in internationalizing small and medium-sized enterprises. ” Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, no. 11, 2016, pp. 5040-5045, DOI:10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.04.077. Search in Google Scholar

[14] S. Cao, D. Leung. “Credit constraints and productivity of SMEs: Evidence from Canada”. Economic Modelling, vol. 88, 2020, pp. 163-180, DOI:10.1016/j.econmod.2019.09.018. Search in Google Scholar

[15] S.T. Cavusgil, G. Knight. “The born global firm: An entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization”. Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, 2015, pp. 3-16, DOI:10.1057/jibs.2014.62. Search in Google Scholar

[16] H. Chen, M.Z. Frank, O.Q. Wu. “U.S. Retail and Wholesale Inventory Performance from 1981 to 2004”. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Oct. 2007, Accessed: Jun. 07, 2020. [Online] Search in Google Scholar

[17] F. Chouiraf, A. Chafi. “A new steps of Value Stream Mapping For the Moroccan Artisanal Enterprise.” International Journal of Information Science & Technology. Vol. 4, 2020. Search in Google Scholar

[18] RM. del Rio. Chanona, P. Mealy, A. Pichler, F. Lafond and D. Farmer. “Supply and demand shocks in the COVID-19 pandemic: An industry and occupation perspective”. arXiv:2004.06759 [econ, q-fin], Apr. 2020, Accessed: Jun. 07, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://arxiv.org/abs/2004.06759. Search in Google Scholar

[19] K. Demeter, Z. Matyusz. “The impact of lean practices on inventory turnover”. International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 133, no. 1, pp. 154-163, Sep. 2011. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpe.2009.10.031. Search in Google Scholar

[20] E.W. Dickson, S. Singh, D.S. Cheung, C.C. Wyatt and A.S. Nugent. “Application of Lean Manufacturing Techniques in the Emergency Department”. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 37, no. 2, 2009, pp. 177-182, DOI:10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.11.108. Search in Google Scholar

[21] R. Djalante et al. “Review and analysis of current responses to COVID-19 in Indonesia: Period of January to March 2020”. Progress in Disaster Science, vol. 6, 2020, p. 100091, DOI:10.1016/j.pdisas.2020.100091. Search in Google Scholar

[22] J. Drew, B. McCallum, S. Roggenhofer and G. de Angéli. “Objectif lean : Réussir l’entreprise au plus juste : enjeux techniques et culturels. Broché, 2004. Search in Google Scholar

[23] L. Driouach, K. Zarbane and Z. Beidouri. “Literature Review of Lean Manufacturing in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises”. International Journal of Technology, vol. 10, no. 5, 2019, p. 930, DOI:10.14716/ijtech.v10i5.2718. Search in Google Scholar

[24] S. El Amine, A.N. Bouayad. “Distressed SMES in Morocco: Study on Common Characteristics”. Journal of Research in Business and Management, vol. 8, 2020, pp. 36-44. Search in Google Scholar

[25] A. Faure. “ La comptabilité de la petite entreprise : de l’écriture au bilan”. Chiron. 2009. Search in Google Scholar

[26] R.R. Fullerton, C.S.S. McWatter, C. Fawson. “An examination of the relationships between JIT and financial performance”. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 21, no. 4, 2003, pp. 383-404, DOI:10.1016/S0272-6963(03)00002-0. Search in Google Scholar

[27] G.D. Galsworth. Visual systems: Harnessing the power of the visual workplace. New York: American Management Association. 1997. Search in Google Scholar

[28] A.M. Genaidy, W. Karwowski. “Human performance in lean production environment: Critical assessment and research framework”. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing and Service Industries, vol. 13, no 4, 2003, pp. 317-330. Search in Google Scholar

[29] R.E. Goodson. “Read a plant-fast”. Harvard Business Review, vol. 80, no. 5, 2002, pp. 105-1113. Search in Google Scholar

[30] M. Greif. The Visual Factory: Building Participation Through Shared Information. CRC Press, 1991. Search in Google Scholar

[31] R. Grewal, P. Tansuhaj. “Building Organizational Capabilities for Managing Economic Crisis: The Role of Market Orientation and Strategic Flexibility”. Journal of Marketing, vol. 65, no. 2, 2001, pp. 67-80, DOI:10.1509/jmkg. Search in Google Scholar

[32] S. Gupta, S.K. Jain. “A literature review of lean manufacturing”. International Journal of Management Science and Engineering Management, vol. 8, no. 4, 2013, pp. 241-249, DOI:10.1080/17509653.2013.825074. Search in Google Scholar

[33] G. Hamel, C.K. Prahalad. Strategic Intent. Harvard Business Press, 2010. Search in Google Scholar

[34] M. Hassainate. (2016). “Prévention de la défaillance des entreprises”. Revue Marocaine de Recherche en Management et Marketing. [Online]. vol. 2(14). Available: https://revues.imist.ma/index.php?journal=REMAREM&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=6413. [Jun. 07, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[35] Haut Commissariat au Plan. (2019). “Enquête Nationale Auprès Des Entreprises 2019, Premiers Résultats”. Scribd. [Online]. Available: https://fr.scribd.com/document/449174324/Enquete-Nationale-Aupres-Des-Entreprises-2019-Premiers-Resultats-Version-Fr-1 [Jun. 11, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[36] Haut Commissariat au Plan. (2020). “Principaux résultats de l’enquête de conjoncture sur les effets du COVID-19 sur l’activité des entreprises”, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.hcp.ma/Principaux-resultatsde-l-enquete-de-conjoncture-sur-les-effets-du-Covid-19-sur-l-activite-des-entreprises_a2499.html. Search in Google Scholar

[37] H. Hirano. 5S for operators: 5 Pillars of the visual work-place. NY: Productivity Press, 1996. Search in Google Scholar

[38] Hofer, C., Eroglu, A. Rossiter. “The effect of lean production on financial performance: The mediating role of inventory leanness”. International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 138, no. 2, 2012. pp. 242-253, DOI:10.1016/j.ijpe.2012.03.025. Search in Google Scholar

[39] J.E. Humphries, C. Neilson, G. Ulyssea. “The Evolving Impacts of COVID-19 on Small Businesses Since the CARES Act”. In Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, paper No. 2230, 2020, Yale University, DOI:10.2139/ssrn.3584745. Search in Google Scholar

[40] M. Huson, D. Nanda. “The impact of just-in-time manufacturing on firm performance in the US”. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 12, no. 3-4, 1995, pp. 297-310, DOI:10.1016/0272-6963(95)00011-G. Search in Google Scholar

[41] Inforisk. (2017). “[Study] Défaillances D’entreprises Marocaines 2017 – Blog Inforisk,”. http://blog.inforisk.ma/index.php/2018/03/30/etudedefaillances-dentreprises-marocaines-2017/ [Jun. 07, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[42] Inforisk. (2019). “[Study] Défaillances D’entreprises Au Maroc En 2019 – Blog Inforisk,” http://blog.inforisk.ma/index.php/etudesdefaillances-2019/ [Jun. 07, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[43] Institut National d’analyse de la conjoncture and HCP. “Note de conjoncture”, p. 47, 2020. Search in Google Scholar

[44] Johnson. “Japanese-Style Management in America”. California Management Review, vol. 30, no. 4, 1988, pp. 34-45, DOI:10.2307/41166525. Search in Google Scholar

[45] J. Kilpatrick. “Lean principles”. Utah Manufacturing Extension Partnership, vol. 68, 2003, [Online].Available: http://yourcareeracademy.com/yca/assets/uploads/lib_file/Lean%20Principles%20-%20overview.pdf. [Apr. 12, 2017]. Search in Google Scholar

[46] A. Kumar, M. Francisco. “Enterprise Size, Financing Patterns, and Credit Constraints in Brazil: Analysis of Data from the Investment Climate Assessment Survey”. The World Bank, 2005. Search in Google Scholar

[47] T. Laing. “The economic impact of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019): Implications for the mining industry”. The Extractive Industries and Society, vol. 7, no 2, 2020, pp. 580-582, DOI:10.1016/j.exis.2020.04.003. Search in Google Scholar

[48] Y. Larteb, A. Haddout, M. Benhadou. “Successful Lean Implementation: The Systematic and Simultaneous Consideration of Soft and Hard Lean Practices”. International Journal of Engineering Research and General Science, vol. 3(2), 2015, pp. 1258-1270. Search in Google Scholar

[49] N. Levratto, S. Barthelemy, M. Delhom, J.B. Filippi, and L. Maherault. (2002). “Conditions de l’élaboration d’une base de données qualitatives sur les entreprises aux fins d’une intermédiation informationnelle”. [Online]. Available: http://www.bparanque.com/2irating/rapport2002v3.pdf [May 07, 2017]. Search in Google Scholar

[50] J.K. Liker. The Toyota way: 14 Management principles from the world’s greatest manufacturer. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2004 Search in Google Scholar

[51] M. Liouaeddine. (2009). “La dynamique de la formation continue dans les P.M.E marocaines,” University Library of Munich, Germany, 69815, [Online]. Available: https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/69815.html [Jun. 07, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[52] K.E. Mckone, R.G. Schroeder, K.O. Cua,. “The impact of total productive maintenance on manufacturing performance”. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 19, no1, 2001, pp. 39-58. Search in Google Scholar

[53] T. Melton. “The Benefits of Lean Manufacturing”. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, vol. 83, no. 6, 2005, pp. 662-673, DOI:10.1205/cherd.04351. Search in Google Scholar

[54] S. Mullarkey, P. Jackson, S. Parker. “Employee reactions to JIT manufacturing practices: A two-phase investigation”. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 15, no 11, 1995, pp. 62-79. Search in Google Scholar

[55] M. Nicola et al. “The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review”. International Journal of Surgery, vol. 78, 2020, pp. 185-193, DOI:10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.04.018. Search in Google Scholar

[56] J.S. Oakland. “Total quality management: the route to improving performance” 2nd ed. Oxford ; Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1995. Search in Google Scholar

[57] G.C. Parry, C.E. Turner. “Application of lean visual process management tools”. Production Planning & Control, vol. 17, no. 1, 2006, pp. 77-86, DOI:10.1080/09537280500414991. Search in Google Scholar

[58] D.A. Preece, R. Jones. “Introduction: Human Resource Development/Management in Lean Production”. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, vol. 10, no. 1, 2010, p. 1, DOI:10.1504/IJHRDM.2010.029676. Search in Google Scholar

[59] L. Rivera, F. Frank Chen. “Measuring the impact of Lean tools on the cost–time investment of a product using cost-time profiles”. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, vol. 23, no. 6, 2007, pp. 684-689, DOI:10.1016/j.rcim.2007.02.013. Search in Google Scholar

[60] S. Sakakibara, B.B. Flynn, R.G. Schroeder, W.T Morris. “The Impact of Just-in-Time Manufacturing and Its Infrastructure on Manufacturing Performance”. Management Science, vol. 43, no. 9, 1997, pp. 1246-1257, DOI:10.1287/mnsc.43.9.1246. Search in Google Scholar

[61] R. Shah, P.T. Ward. “Defining and developing measures of lean production”. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 25, no. 4, 2007, pp. 785-805, DOI:10.1016/j.jom.2007.01.019. Search in Google Scholar

[62] A. Sharif, C. Aloui and L. Yarovaya. “COVID-19 pandemic, oil prices, stock market, geopolitical risk and policy uncertainty nexus in the US economy: Fresh evidence from the wavelet-based approach”. International Review of Financial Analysis, vol. 70, 2020, p. 101496, DOI:10.1016/j.irfa.2020.101496. Search in Google Scholar

[63] R. Shaw, Y. Kim and J. Hua. “Governance, technology and citizen behavior in pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19 in East Asia”. Progress in Disaster Science, vol. 6, 2020, p. 100090, DOI:10.1016/j.pdisas.2020.100090. Search in Google Scholar

[64] W. Tani, B. Radi. (2014). “Le financement des Très Petites Entreprises: Informalisation du financement formel ou formalisation du financement informel”, Available: http://www.redoreg.com/Tcomplet/TANI_3.pdf. Search in Google Scholar

[65] D.J. Teece, G. Pisano, A. Shuen. “Dynamic capabilities and strategic management”. Strategic Management Journal, vol. 18, no. 7, 1997, pp. 509-533, DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199708)18:7<509:AIDSMJ882>3.0.CO;2-Z. Search in Google Scholar

[66] O. Torres. The Small and Medium-sized enterprise. Dominos Flammarion. 1999. Search in Google Scholar

[67] S. Treville, J. Antonakis. “Could lean production job design be intrinsically motivating? Contextual, configurational, and levels-of-analysis issues”. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 24, no. 2, 2006, pp. 99-123, DOI:10.1016/j.jom.2005.04.001. Search in Google Scholar

[68] Tu, G.C. Hall. (2004). “Internationalization and Size, Age and Profitability in the United Kingdom”. Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY, SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 1497716. Accessed: [Online]. Available: https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1497716 [Jun. 07, 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[69] UNDP, UNECA and World BANK. “Social & Economic Impact Of The COVID 19 Crisis On Morocco, A Temporary Analysis To Assess The Potential For International Organizations To Support National Response,” [Online]. Available: https://marokko.ahk.de/fileadmin/AHK_Marokko/Dokumente/Economic_and_Social_Impact_of_COVID_19_Morocco_UN_Impact_Assessment.pdf-2.pdf.pdf [Mar. 2020]. Search in Google Scholar

[70] A.M.E. Velda. “Impact of Supply Chain Management Practices on Financial Performance: Case Study of Automotive Suppliers in Morocco”. 12th International Colloquium of Logistics and Supply Chain Management LOGISTIQUA, 12-14, IUT de Montreuil, Université Paris 8, France, 2019. Search in Google Scholar

[71] J.P. Womack, D.T. Jones, D. Roos. The Machine that Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production. 1990. Search in Google Scholar

[72] S.M. Young. “A Framework for Successful Adoption and Performance of Japanese Manufacturing Practices in the United States”. Academy of Management Review, vol. 17, no. 4, 1992, pp. 677-700, DOI:10.5465/amr.1992.4279060. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo