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The importance of the symbiosis: working environment conditions in manufacturing lean enterprises, the effects and implications
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics. (Centre for Management Accounting Research (CMAR))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0378-2995
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics. (Centre for Management Accounting Research (CMAR))
2018 (English)In: Paper presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018, Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Lean production (LP) has been the dominant production rhetoric for the last couple of decades but there is limited and ambiguous knowledge concerning the impacts of how LP practices influences the working environment conditions. Drawing from prior research (i.e. Håkansson, et al., 2017; Saurin and Ferreira, 2009; Conti, et al. 2006) we add granularity through in-depth empirical studies to the field and provide evidence for both positive and negative impact of the use of LP on the perceived working environment conditions among employees in the manufacturing sector. Through in-depth interviews with managers and production workers, and a survey to non-managers in three manufacturing companies in the southern part of Sweden.  

The results confirm existing literature in that we find workers in mature LP-organizations consider their working conditions to be generally good but challenging and that workers feel empowered and motivated when working in a LP context. The study add to prior knowledge in that LP also have less positive effects on the working environment conditions which is seen primarily through high level of stress and weak communication patterns.

We conclude that improvement work, when properly done, gradually strengthen the working conditions, and the need for worker empowerment in the improvement work process is crucial. Furthermore, when LP is perceived to be top-down from the managers, the overall perception is rather negative from a worker perspective and several of the advertised benefits from LP are never experienced among members of the organization.

Our study contributes to further connecting the Operations Management and Human Resource Management concerning the practice of LP and the impact it has on the perceived working environment conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association , 2018.
Keywords [en]
Working environment conditions, Lean production, Manufacturing companies
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77079OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-77079DiVA, id: diva2:1259081
Conference
The 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018
Available from: 2018-10-26 Created: 2018-10-26 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Alpenberg, JanKarlsson, Fredrik

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf