The Machine That Changed The World (Womack and Jones, 1996) is the book that made lean a popular phenomenon. However, when the book was first published, it and lean encountered a good deal of criticism from within the academic community.
In this paper Dr. Samuel provides an overview of the various lean critics so that you can begin to evaluate the validity of their views. More than twenty years on from when the book first appeared, it would seem that lean has emerged triumphant. After all, today there is still tremendous interest in lean among the practitioner community many of whom remain driven to follow the imperative set out in this original seminal text.
Nevertheless, it is still valuable to have an appreciation of who criticised lean and why.