Creating Team-Learning and Proactivity by Expanding Job Design Practises within Lean Production
2015 (English)In: International annual edition of applied psychology: theory, research and practice, ISSN 2313-4097, Vol. 1, no 1, 44-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Lean production and team-work are based on seemingly opposing principles of job design, and yet often combined in production systems within industry. In this study we explored conditions for team learning and proactive behaviour within one specific context and version of the lean concept; the Volvo Production System (VPS). The aim of the study was to identify job design practises that promote learning in teams in a leaned production system, and identify organizational barriers for team learning in order to promote teams’ proactive behaviour. The results are based on quantitative analysis of a) work task analysis of cognitive demand in standardized and non-standardized tasks, a questionnaire to all employees on the shop-floor, production-leaders’ ratings of team proactivity, and b) qualitative analysis of interviews with specialists from support functions and production leaders. Standardized tasks, regardless of cognitive demand, do not impact team learning processes or proactivity. Mediation analysis on aggregated data (a) consisting of 41 teams showed that cognitive demand in the most demanding task in the non-standardized work was fully mediated by team learning processes on proactivity and that inter-team collaboration was mediated by team-learning processes on proactivity. A conclusion is that the potential for team-learning processes and proactivity lies in those work activities that are not standardized, and good inter-team collaboration in the work-flow. The non-standardized tasks take very little time, and are not more cognitively demanding than the main tasks, and yet impact team proactivity to a considerable extent as they give input to building a shared meaning of work. The tentative qualitative results (b) show differences between stake-holders input to stagnant and vibrant teams. The main difference is between thinking teamwork or individual work, expanding work into joint problem-solving or defining divided and clear-cut work roles, in the coordination of different support functions activities, and if teams are involved in prioritizing what should be done.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 1, no 1, 44-62 p.
lean, teamwork, work design, complexity, proacitivty
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126029DiVA: diva2:896912