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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 March 2024

Ambra Galeazzo, Andrea Furlan, Diletta Tosetto and Andrea Vinelli

We studied the relationship between job engagement and systematic problem solving (SPS) among shop-floor employees and how lean production (LP) and Internet of Things (IoT…

Abstract

Purpose

We studied the relationship between job engagement and systematic problem solving (SPS) among shop-floor employees and how lean production (LP) and Internet of Things (IoT) systems moderate this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

We collected data from a sample of 440 shop floor workers in 101 manufacturing work units across 33 plants. Because our data is nested, we employed a series of multilevel regression models to test the hypotheses. The application of IoT systems within work units was evaluated by our research team through direct observations from on-site visits.

Findings

Our findings indicate a positive association between job engagement and SPS. Additionally, we found that the adoption of lean bundles positively moderates this relationship, while, surprisingly, the adoption of IoT systems negatively moderates this relationship. Interestingly, we found that, when the adoption of IoT systems is complemented by a lean management system, workers tend to experience a higher effect on the SPS of their engagement.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this research is the reliance on the self-reported data collected from both workers (job engagement, SPS and control variables) and supervisors (lean bundles). Furthermore, our study was conducted in a specific country, Italy, which might have limitations on the generalizability of the results since cross-cultural differences in job engagement and SPS have been documented.

Practical implications

Our findings highlight that employees’ strong engagement in SPS behaviors is shaped by the managerial and technological systems implemented on the shop floor. Specifically, we point out that implementing IoT systems without the appropriate managerial practices can pose challenges to fostering employee engagement and SPS.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights on how lean and new technologies contribute to the development of learning-to-learn capabilities at the individual level by empirically analyzing the moderating effects of IoT systems and LP on the relationship between job engagement and SPS.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 May 2021

Ambra Galeazzo, Andrea Furlan and Andrea Vinelli

Drawing on the theoretical concept of organisational fit, this paper questions the relevance of employees' participation in the link between continuous improvement (CI) and…

6615

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the theoretical concept of organisational fit, this paper questions the relevance of employees' participation in the link between continuous improvement (CI) and operational performance. The literature has long emphasised that to be successful, CI implementation needs to rely on employees' involvement as soon as its inception. This paper argues that this approach is not generalisable.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a database of 330 firms across 15 countries, regression analyses were used to hypothesise that the fit between CI and employee participation is positively associated with operational performance, and that the fit between CI and centralisation of authority is negatively associated with operational performance. The authors also ran a robustness check with polynomial regression analyses and the response surface methodology.

Findings

CI–employee participation fit is positively associated with operational performance, suggesting that there is less need for employees to be involved when a firm has scarcely developed CI. Employee participation becomes gradually more relevant as CI progresses. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the CI–centralisation of authority fit is negatively associated with operational performance, suggesting that a top-down management approach with centralised authority is preferable when CI is low, whereas a bottom-up management approach is helpful when a firm has extensively developed CI.

Originality/value

This research draws on the concept of organisational fit to explore the relationships between internal practices in the operations management literature. The authors suggest that managers should dynamically balance the practices of employee participation and centralisation of authority as CI improves. This study highlights that CI has different evolutionary levels that require different managerial approaches and practices.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Ambra Galeazzo and Andrea Furlan

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there are different configurations of lean bundles leading to successful (bad) financial performance and to explore how the…

1379

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there are different configurations of lean bundles leading to successful (bad) financial performance and to explore how the complementarities and substitutions between lean bundles shape these configurations.

Design/methodology/approach

A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was performed on 19 manufacturing firms. Data on financial performance (return-on-asset and growth rate) were retrieved from the AIDA database and data on the lean bundles of just-in-time, total quality management, total preventive maintenance and human resource management were collected via surveys conducted in all the plants belonging to the sampled firms.

Findings

None of the lean bundles is able to explain alone the firm’s successful financial performance. Lean bundles always have to be complemented by other lean bundles. There are different, equifinal configurations of lean bundles leading to successful (bad) financial performance. Configurations characterized by low implementation of lean bundles are related to bad financial performance.

Practical implications

By finding different configurations of lean bundles associated with successful and bad financial performance, this study informs operations managers on the most effective investments concerning the implementation of lean manufacturing.

Originality/value

This study extends literature on complementarities in lean manufacturing literature. It also bridges together apparently contradictory research on the relationship between lean manufacturing and financial performance. Finally, the study demonstrates that lean bundles have different roles in reaching successful and bad financial performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 November 2022

Claudia Cozzio and Andrea Furlan

This study aims to investigate the impact of the innovative ritual-based redesign of a routine in the challenging context of the dining-out sector, characterized by low employee…

1134

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of the innovative ritual-based redesign of a routine in the challenging context of the dining-out sector, characterized by low employee commitment and high turnover.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a mixed methods experimental design. This study focuses on a field experiment in a real restaurant centered on the restaurant’s welcome entrée routine. The routine is first observed as it happens, after which it is redesigned as a ritual.

Findings

The ritual-based redesign of the routine enhances employee sharing of the purpose of the routine and reduces the variability of the execution time of the routine, which increases group cohesion among the restaurant staff. Besides the positive impact on the routine’s participants, the ritual-based redesign has a beneficial effect on the performance of the routine by increasing the enjoyment of the end-consumers at the restaurant.

Research limitations/implications

The ritual-based redesign of routines is a powerful managerial tool that bonds workers into a solidary community characterized by strong and shared values. This allows guidance of the behavior of new and existing employees in a more efficient and less time-consuming way.

Originality/value

Rituals have been traditionally analyzed from the customer perspective as marketing tools. This research investigates the employees’ perspective, leveraging ritual-based redesign as a managerial tool for increasing cohesion among workers.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Ambra Galeazzo and Andrea Furlan

Organizational learning relies on problem-solving as a way to generate new knowledge. Good problem solvers should adopt a problem-solving orientation (PSO) that analyzes the…

1198

Abstract

Purpose

Organizational learning relies on problem-solving as a way to generate new knowledge. Good problem solvers should adopt a problem-solving orientation (PSO) that analyzes the causes of problems to arrive at an effective solution. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this relevant, though underexplored, topic by examining two important antecedents of PSO: knowledge sharing mechanisms and transformational leaders’ support.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical linear modeling analyses were performed on a sample of 131 workers in 12 plants. A questionnaire was designed to collect data from shop-floor employees. Knowledge sharing was measured using the mechanisms of participative practices and standardized practices. Management support was assessed based on the extent to which supervisors engaged in transformational leadership.

Findings

Knowledge sharing mechanisms are an antecedent of PSO behavior, but management support measured in terms of transformational leadership is not. However, transformational leadership affects the use of knowledge sharing mechanisms that, in turn, is positively related to PSO behavior.

Practical implications

The research provides practical guidance for practitioners to understand how to manage knowledge in the workplace to promote employees’ PSO behaviors.

Originality/value

Though problem-solving activities are intrinsic in any working context, PSO is still very much underrepresented and scarcely understood in knowledge management studies. This study fills this gap by investigating the antecedents of PSO behavior.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 8 March 2024

Hilda Du Plooy, Francesco Tommasi, Andrea Furlan, Federica Nenna, Luciano Gamberini, Andrea Ceschi and Riccardo Sartori

Following the imperative for human-centric digital innovation brought by the paradigm of Industry 5.0, the article aims to integrate the dispersed and multi-disciplinary…

Abstract

Purpose

Following the imperative for human-centric digital innovation brought by the paradigm of Industry 5.0, the article aims to integrate the dispersed and multi-disciplinary literature on individual risks for workers to define, explain and predict individual risks related to Industry 4.0 technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows the question, “What is the current knowledge and evidence base concerning risks related to Industry 4.0 technologies, and how can this inform digital innovation management in the manufacturing sector through the lens of the Industry 5.0 paradigm?” and uses the method of systematic literature review to identify and discuss potential risks for individuals associated with digital innovation. N = 51 contributions met the inclusion criteria.

Findings

The literature review indicates dominant trends and significant gaps in understanding risks from a human-centric perspective. The paper identifies individual risks, their interplay with different technologies and their antecedents at the social, organizational and individual levels. Despite this, the paper shows how the literature concentrates in studying risks on only a limited number of categories and/or concepts. Moreover, there is a lack of consensus in the theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The paper concludes by illustrating an initial understanding of digital innovation via a human-centered perspective on psychological risks.

Practical implications

Findings yield practical implications. In investing in the adoption, generation or recombination of new digital technologies in organizations, the paper recommends managers ensure to prevent risks at the individual level. Accordingly, the study’s findings can be used as a common starting point for extending the repertoire of managerial practices and interventions and realizing human-centric innovation.

Originality/value

Following the paradigm of Industry 5.0, the paper offers a holistic view of risks that incorporates the central role of the worker as crucial to the success of digital innovation. This human-centric perspective serves to inform the managerial field about important factors in risk management that can result in more effective targeted interventions in risk mitigation approaches. Lastly, it can serve to reinterpret digital innovation management and propose future avenues of research on risk.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2023

Sven Januszek, Torbjørn H. Netland and Andrea Furlan

Do managers at different hierarchical levels in a firm perceive the effectiveness of a lean program differently, and does it matter for their commitment to it and the resulting…

Abstract

Purpose

Do managers at different hierarchical levels in a firm perceive the effectiveness of a lean program differently, and does it matter for their commitment to it and the resulting lean implementation? This study answers these questions by analyzing the perceptions and behaviors of top and middle managers in a manufacturer deploying a global lean program.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors hypothesize that managers at different levels perceive lean programs differently, which, in turn, should affect their commitment to lean and the resulting implementation. To test these relationships empirically, the authors collect survey data from a global manufacturer in the process industry and analyze them using hierarchical linear regression and structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings show that middle managers perceive lean programs as more effective than top managers do. They further show that higher commitment from the top and middle managers to the lean program is positively related to building the organizational infrastructure needed for lean implementation.

Research limitations/implications

This research is conducted in one global company. Although the research setting implicitly controls for many possible confounding variables, such as the product and process complexity or organizational culture, future research can explore and test the findings in other organizational contexts.

Originality/value

This study is the first to empirically study the relations between perceptions of and commitment to lean programs across different hierarchical levels and what it means for program implementation. The paper contributes new plausible explanations for why many lean programs slow down.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2020

Matin Mohaghegh and Andrea Furlan

This study aims at determining the factors that favor a systematic approach to deal with complex operational and strategic problems. Management literature on problem-solving makes…

1541

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at determining the factors that favor a systematic approach to deal with complex operational and strategic problems. Management literature on problem-solving makes a clear distinction between either fixing a problem temporarily by eliminating its symptoms or solving it by diagnosing and altering underlying causes. Adopting a cognitive perspective of the dual-processing theory, this study labels these two approaches intuitive problem-solving and systematic problem-solving (SPS). While the superior effectiveness of SPS in fostering organizational learning is widely documented, existing literature fails to provide an overview of the conditions that support the adoption of SPS.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a systematic literature review to shed light on the main supporting factors of SPS in operational as well as strategic domains.

Findings

Seven supporting factors of SPS (namely, nature of the problem, time availability, information availability, collaborative culture, transformational leadership, organizational learning infrastructure and environmental dynamism) are first identified and then discussed in an integrative model.

Originality/value

This work is an original attempt to inclusively address organizational, environmental and problem nature-related factors that favor SPS adoption. By determining the SPS supporting factors, this study highlights why many organizations fail or struggle to implement and sustain SPS over time.

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Andrea Furlan, Andrea Vinelli and Giorgia Dal Pont

The paper aims to test and validate the complementarity effects on operational performance of two of the main lean manufacturing bundles, just‐in‐time (JIT) and total quality…

4893

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to test and validate the complementarity effects on operational performance of two of the main lean manufacturing bundles, just‐in‐time (JIT) and total quality management (TQM). The paper also explores the role played by the human resource management (HRM) bundle as an enhancer of the complementarity between JIT and TQM.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on statistical analysis on the high performance manufacturing round III database, a survey that involves 266 plants in nine countries across three different industries (electronics, machinery and transportation components).

Findings

The paper proves the existence of complementarity between JIT and TQM and shows the enabling role of HRM on such complementarity.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides analytical and empirical argumentations showing that JIT and TQM mutually reinforce each other's marginal returns on operational performance. The study also indicates that only those plants characterized by a significant implementation of HRM practices enjoy the complementarity effects of TQM and JIT on operational performance.

Practical implications

The research suggests a pattern of improvements where JIT and TQM have to be implemented hand‐in‐hand to take full advantage of their complementarity. HRM, the soft part of lean initiatives, provides the ground over which complementarity originates, spreading its benefits throughout the organization.

Originality/value

The study represents one of the few attempts trying to operationalize and empirically validate the concept of complementarity. The study also provides original suggestions to practitioners on how to make the most out of lean initiatives.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Andrea Furlan and Roberto Grandinetti

Literature on spin-offs still lacks a thorough understanding of the forces governing spin-off performance. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by taking a network…

1322

Abstract

Purpose

Literature on spin-offs still lacks a thorough understanding of the forces governing spin-off performance. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by taking a network perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines the literature on spin-offs with the network approach to new ventures to proposing a model showing how networking in the pre-entry phases affects a spin-off's survival and early growth.

Findings

The intensity and variety of interactions between the future entrepreneur (FE) and other individual actors has a positive impact on spin-off performance in both the incubation and the emergence phases. The degree of overlap between the network of the incubation phase and the network of the emergence phase also reinforces the effects of the intensity and variety of these interactions on performance during the emergence phase. Finally, entrepreneurial innovativeness is an antecedent of spin-off performance in that it requires different degrees of overlap between the network of the incubation phase and the network of the emergence phase.

Research limitations/implications

Being a conceptual paper, the study needs the support of empirical research. For example, samples of spin-offs achieving a high and low performance could be compared in relation to their FE's networking activity.

Originality/value

The paper creates a bridge between the inherited knowledge approach to spin-offs and the network approach to new ventures to provide a framework for explaining spin-off performance.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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