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Lean production tools and decision latitude enable conditions for innovative learning in organizations: a multilevel analysis
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre. (National Centre for Work and Rehabilitation)
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. (National Centre for Work and Rehabilitation)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0279-5903
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2015 (English)In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 47, 285-291 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The effect of lean production on conditions for learning is debated. This study aimed to investigate how tools inspired by lean production (standardization, resource reduction, visual monitoring, housekeeping, value flow analysis) were associated with an innovative learning climate and with collective dispersion of ideas in organizations, and whether decision latitude contributed to these associations. A questionnaire was sent out to employees in public, private, production and service organizations (n = 4442). Multilevel linear regression analyses were used. Use of lean tools and decision latitude were positively associated with an innovative learning climate and collective dispersion of ideas. A low degree of decision latitude was a modifier in the association to collective dispersion of ideas. Lean tools can enable shared understanding and collective spreading of ideas, needed for the development of work processes, especially when decision latitude is low. Value flow analysis played a pivotal role in the associations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 47, 285-291 p.
Keyword [en]
psychosocial work conditions, job resources, learning climate
National Category
Other Health Sciences Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112552DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.10.013ISI: 000347663600033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112552DiVA: diva2:767750
Available from: 2014-12-02 Created: 2014-12-02 Last updated: 2015-04-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Live long and prosper: Health-promoting conditions at work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Live long and prosper: Health-promoting conditions at work
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to contribute with knowledge concerning health-promoting conditions at work, and to investigate how individual, workplace and organisational conditions are interrelated. In the thesis, work-related flow, i.e. an experience of motivation, absorption and work enjoyment, is used as a holistic notion of occupational health. In Paper I, work-related flow is investigated in relation to decision latitude, social capital and an innovative learning climate at work. Paper II investigates whether the use of tools inspired by lean production, such as standardisation and value stream mapping, is positively associated with conditions for innovative learning in organisations. The aim of Paper III is to identify conditions for health and performance in organisation and at work; further, to investigate the association between work-related flow and performance. Paper IV reports on a longitudinal investigation of workrelated flow in relation to lean tool use and conditions at the workplace. The empirical material is based on data from 10 organisations, including 4442 employees. Papers I-III are cross-sectional, whereas Paper IV is longitudinal. Papers II-IV utilise multilevel analyses.

The results show that decision latitude, social capital and an innovative learning climate are associated with an increase in work-related flow (Papers I, III & IV), and with performance (Paper III). Individuals’ decision latitude enables an increased benefit from the social capital and innovative learning climate at work (Paper I). The effect of tools inspired by lean production on work-related flow (Papers III & IV), and on conditions for innovative learning (Paper II) differs, depending on which tools are used, and on workplace conditions. These tools enable innovative learning mainly where decision latitude is low (Paper II), and it is primarily the lean tool value stream mapping which has the potential to create an arena for innovative learning (Paper II) and work-related flow (Paper IV).

It is concluded that the individual is embedded in a social work context that has the potential to strengthen the ability to act with motivation, absorption and enjoyment. In order to utilise collective healthpromoting conditions at work, individuals need to have authority to make their own decisions and use their skills. The effect of tools inspired by lean production depends on the specific tools that are used, and on individuals’ decision latitude at work. Their potential to enable innovative learning is most evident for employees who  have few opportunities for autonomous decision-making and skill use in their work. For those with a high degree of decision latitude, the use of lean tools has a smaller effect. Work-related flow may in itself serve as a resource that improves performance and increases engagement in health-promoting work conditions. In order to promote health as well as performance, work needsto be organised so that employees have opportunities to decide over their own work, and utilise their skills, individually and collectively within the workgroup.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 72 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1447
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Work Medical and Health Sciences Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117064 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-117064 (DOI)978-91-7519-120-1 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-04, Hälsans Hus, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-15 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2015-04-30Bibliographically approved

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