Purpose – Teams and teamworking has now become a common form of work structure in most organisations, including facilities management. The human interactions which occur when people work together in groups is still problematic. In this study human factors are identified and the purpose of this paper is to establish the level of importance of each factor involving specialised teams within a manufacturing environment. Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative study was undertaken at a number of manufacturing plants which were using the process: team‐based cellular manufacturing. Managers, team leaders, and operators involved with manufacturing cells were targeted to evaluate the various human related factors associated with these teams. Findings – From the nine human factors evaluated, three factors: “communication”, “teamwork”, and “training” were identified as being key to the day‐to‐day success of team‐based cellular manufacturing. Some notable differences were observed when comparing the data between countries. Research limitations/implications – This study adds to the limited research which has been conducted on the human aspects of socio‐technical processes. Further work is required to enhance understanding of key human factors. Practical implications – For practitioners involved with manufacturing cells, the study provides an understanding of the key areas towards which attention and resources can be channelled. Originality/value – While the study provides valuable insights into a socio‐technical process in manufacturing, the findings are also very useful to management practitioners who are attempting to manage and improve the effectiveness of teams and teamwork.
Journal of Facilities Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2013
Keywords: Manufacturing industries; Cellular manufacturing; Facilities management; Teams; Human factors; Manufacturing; Empirical study