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The Impact of Lean Production and Related New Systems of Work Organization on Worker Health

The Impact of Lean Production and Related New Systems of Work Organization on Worker Health New systems of work organization, such as lean productionand total quality management, have been introduced by employersthroughout the industrialized world to improve productivity, quality, and profitability. However, few studies have examined theimpact of such systems on occupational injuries or illnesses or onjob characteristics related to job strain, which has been linked tohypertension and cardiovascular disease. The studies reviewedprovide little evidence to support the hypothesis that leanproduction “empowers” auto workers. In fact, auto industry studiessuggest that lean production creates intensified work pace anddemands. Increases in decision authority and skill levels are modestor temporary, whereas decision latitude typically remains low. Thus, such work can be considered to have job strain. In jobs withergonomic stressors, intensification of labor appears to lead toincreases in musculoskeletal disorders. The evidence for adversehealth effects remains inconclusive for related new work systems inother industries, such as modular manufacturing or patient-focusedcare. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Occupational Health Psychology American Psychological Association

The Impact of Lean Production and Related New Systems of Work Organization on Worker Health

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 American Psychological Association
ISSN
1076-8998
eISSN
1939-1307
DOI
10.1037/1076-8998.4.2.108
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New systems of work organization, such as lean productionand total quality management, have been introduced by employersthroughout the industrialized world to improve productivity, quality, and profitability. However, few studies have examined theimpact of such systems on occupational injuries or illnesses or onjob characteristics related to job strain, which has been linked tohypertension and cardiovascular disease. The studies reviewedprovide little evidence to support the hypothesis that leanproduction “empowers” auto workers. In fact, auto industry studiessuggest that lean production creates intensified work pace anddemands. Increases in decision authority and skill levels are modestor temporary, whereas decision latitude typically remains low. Thus, such work can be considered to have job strain. In jobs withergonomic stressors, intensification of labor appears to lead toincreases in musculoskeletal disorders. The evidence for adversehealth effects remains inconclusive for related new work systems inother industries, such as modular manufacturing or patient-focusedcare.

Journal

Journal of Occupational Health PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Apr 1, 1999

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