Social factors are an under‐researched but important aspect in the success of manufacturing cells. This paper sets out to investigate the impact and importance of various human factors within a socio‐technical system such as team‐based cellular manufacturing (TBCM).
A questionnaire survey was designed to provide information about human factors in TBCM. The survey was conducted at four medium‐to‐large size organisations in Australia and Switzerland where participants were required to be working within a TBCM environment and included managers, team leaders, and operators. A set of research questions and hypotheses was developed and tested.
It was found that human issues account for a significant proportion of problems within team‐based manufacturing cells. Of the eight human factors tested in this survey, communication, teamwork and training were ranked the most important, while reward/compensation was ranked the least important. Testing showed significant relationships between factors such as companies, positions, experience and team size; therefore most hypotheses were supported.
Traditionally, the research focus has been on the technical aspect of socio‐technical systems such as TBCM. This study offers practitioners and academics a better understanding of the human issues associated with this important form of manufacturing, therefore improving the likelihood of its success.
This paper demonstrates the need for research into the social side of TBCM, while providing an understanding of the important human factors associated with this system.
Fraser, K., Harris, H. and Luong, L. (2007), "Team‐based cellular manufacturing: A review and survey to identify important social factors", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 714-730. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380710763877Download as .RIS
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