Leaned teamwork fattens workplace innovation: The relationship between task complexity, team learning and team proactivity
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, ISSN 1359-432X, E-ISSN 1464-0643, Vol. 25, no 4, 561-569 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Our aim is to contribute to research on workplace innovation by identifying tasks within industrial Lean Production Systems (LPS) that can trigger the involvement of teams in workplace innovation. Previous research has shown negative effects of LPS for employees’ motivation, learning, and innovation processes. The principles of job design of production tasks, e.g., standardization and routinization, are seemingly opposed to a job design that supports team’s engagement in workplace innovation. In this study, we explored relations between task complexity, team learning, and proactivity. Work task analysis was conducted at baseline among 41 teams to capture the complexity of different work tasks. Eight months later, employees completed a questionnaire about team-learning processes, and managers rated each team’s proactivity. Three kinds of tasks were identified. The results showed that the main work task and supplementary tasks gave no input to the team’s learning process. Mediation analysis showed that additional work tasks, taking little time, have an impact on team proactivity through team learning. A conclusion is that teams within LPS can be engaged in workplace innovation depending on how they take on additional tasks, as these impact team learning. The implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 25, no 4, 561-569 p.
teamwork, task complexity, team-learning, workplace innovation, lean production
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132293DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2016.1183649ISI: 000378743900007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132293DiVA: diva2:951055