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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Peter Hasle, Anders Bojesen, Per Langaa Jensen and Pia Bramming

The effects of lean on employees have been debated ever since the concept was introduced. The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific literature on the effects…

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Abstract

Purpose

The effects of lean on employees have been debated ever since the concept was introduced. The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific literature on the effects of lean on the working environment and employee health and well‐being.

Design/methodology/approach

Relevant databases were searched for studies of lean and the working environment. In total, 11 studies with quantitative effects of lean are included in this review. The methodology and results are analysed to extract information about lean and the effects on working environment.

Findings

There is strong evidence for the negative impact of lean on both the working environment and employee health and well‐being in cases of manual work with low complexity. However, since examples of positive effects were also found in the literature, it is important to move from a simple cause‐and‐effect model to a more comprehensive model that understands lean as an open and ambiguous concept, which can have both positive and negative effects depending on the actual lean practice used on the shop floor.

Research limitations/implications

The evidence remains limited with regard to the effect of lean on the working environment outside of manufacturing industry. The literature reflects, only to a limited extent, on the significance of implementation strategy and production context.

Practical implications

Organizations working with lean should make efforts to avoid an impaired working environment for manual employees. Involvement of employees in lean's practical application is one possible way of developing a healthy working environment.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to make use of the existing research evidence to examine the complex and ambiguous relations between lean and the working environment.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2018

Maja Rožman, Sonja Treven, Matjaž Mulej and Vesna Čančer

The purpose of this paper is to present the importance of a healthy working environment and approaches to establish a healthy working environment of older employees and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the importance of a healthy working environment and approaches to establish a healthy working environment of older employees and their impact on work engagement of older employees. The working environment that is not suitable and adapted for older employees presents a big challenge for Slovenian and other companies in which the work force is getting older. Hence, this paper develops a model of a healthy working environment for older employees, in which they could feel well because of its positive affect on their health.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method in this paper was the descriptive-correlative type. After a systematic review of literature, which relates to this topic, the authors used the compilation method. In addition to descriptive statistics, factor analysis and regression analysis were used in this paper.

Findings

Considering the demographic changes and active ageing in the workplace, age diversity of employees has to become a part of the general strategy of a company to ensure equality and diversity. Adequate working conditions, which should exist in every company, contribute to the improvement of healthy working environment for older employees and their work-engagement. This paper presents that approaches to establish a healthy working environment of older employees have a positive impact on work-engagement of older employees.

Practical implications

The stated findings will help companies to better understand and manage their older employees and the importance of establishing a healthy working environment for older employees with which the work-engagement of older employees can be improved. Socially responsible behavior benefits all in this way, too.

Originality/value

This paper is based on forming a research model for creating a healthy working environment for older employees as a part of social responsibility. The main objective of this paper is to examine the impact of establishment of a healthy working environment for older employees on the work engagement of older employees in Slovenia.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Mona O’Moore and Jean Lynch

A postal National Survey of the workforce in Ireland (N = 1057) found that six per cent of respondents claimed to have been bullied frequently, with a further 17 per cent…

Abstract

A postal National Survey of the workforce in Ireland (N = 1057) found that six per cent of respondents claimed to have been bullied frequently, with a further 17 per cent bullied occasionally, over the previous 12 months. Of those who had been bullied, 67 per cent described the style of leadership in their organizations as autocratic, 15 per cent as laissez-faire, and 18 per cent as democratic. Whilst 72 per cent of non-bullied respondents reported that their working environment was friendly, only 47 per cent of bullied respondents reported that their working environment was friendly. Furthermore, 39 per cent of bullied respondents claimed to work in a hostile environment. There were significant differences between bullied and non-bullied respondents with regard to working conditions, with the exception of the level of challenge, and significant differences in all aspects of the perceived working climate, with the exception of a variable atmosphere.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2021

Daiheng Li, Yihua Zhang, Mingyu Zhang, Wen Wu, Wenbing Wu and Pan Liu

The purpose of this paper is to fill important gaps by using the attachment theory and examining the effects of supervisors’ early family environment on their behaviors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to fill important gaps by using the attachment theory and examining the effects of supervisors’ early family environment on their behaviors toward subordinates and subordinates’ responses.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used samples of 334 supervisor–subordinate pairs from a manufacturing company.

Findings

The study finds that supervisors’ harmonious family environment has a positive influence on subordinates’ responses (job satisfaction, work-to-family enrichment and task performance) through the effect of supervisors’ positive working model and caregiving behavior. On the contrast, supervisors’ conflicting family environment has a negative influence on subordinates’ responses through the effect of supervisors’ negative working model and aggressive behavior.

Originality/value

Existing studies mainly explore the influence of organizational environment on supervisors’ treatment of their subordinates. However, few have examined the relationship between supervisors’ early family environment and their treatment of their subordinates.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Sandra C. Buttigieg, Emanuela-Anna Azzopardi and Vincent Cassar

Medical errors in obstetric departments are commonly reported and may involve both mother and neonate. The complexity of obstetric care, the interactions between various…

Abstract

Medical errors in obstetric departments are commonly reported and may involve both mother and neonate. The complexity of obstetric care, the interactions between various disciplines, and the inherent limitations of human performance make it critically important for these departments to provide patient-safe and friendly working environments that are open to learning and participative safety. Obstetric care involves stressful work, and health care professionals are prone to develop burnout, this being associated with unsafe practices and lower probability for reporting safety concerns. This study aims to test the mediating role of burnout in the relationship of patient-safe and friendly working environment with unsafe performance. The full population of professionals working in an obstetrics department in Malta was invited to participate in a cross-sectional study, with 73.6% (n = 184) of its members responding. The research tool was adapted from the Sexton et al.’s Safety Attitudes Questionnaire – Labor and Delivery version and surveyed participants on their working environment, burnout, and perceived unsafe performance. Analysis was done using Structural Equation Modeling. Results supported the relationship between the lack of a perceived patient-safe and friendly working environment and unsafe performance that is mediated by burnout. Creating a working environment that ensures patient safety practices, that allows communication, and is open to learning may protect employees from burnout. In so doing, they are more likely to perceive that they are practicing safely. This study contributes to patient safety literature by relating working environment, burnout, and perceived unsafe practice with the intention of raising awareness of health managers’ roles in ensuring optimal clinical working environment for health care employees.

Details

Structural Approaches to Address Issues in Patient Safety
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-085-6

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Heidi Rasila

The purpose of this paper is to study how contact centre employees rationalize the perceived problems of an open plan contact centre environment.

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1739

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how contact centre employees rationalize the perceived problems of an open plan contact centre environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies a framework of four different orientations towards the working environment: the object orientation, system orientation, people orientation and territory orientation. Interviews in three contact centre environments with 28 interviewees were carried out, in order to test whether the framework could be used to analyse the ways the contact centre employees rationalize their working environment. The data were analysed with a qualitative content analysis.

Findings

It was possible to find four ways to rationalize the working environment from the speech of the contact centre employees: object‐oriented, system‐oriented, people‐oriented and territory‐oriented rationalization. Persons with the same dominant way of rationalization had internally coherent ways of constructing the reality of their workplace and a common way to justify the existing spatial solutions.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to the insights of 28 contact centre workers. Their experiences of their working environment were studied without an attempt to objectively assess whether the problems they named were real or not. The results are not generalizable in the traditional statistical sense.

Originality/value

The research on workplace‐related issues in a contact centre context is limited. Contact centre work is demanding but the physical working environment can be used to minimize the negative consequences of these demands. Thus, it is important to raise understanding of the workplace‐related issues in a contact centre context.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2018

Matti Meriläinen and Kristi Kõiv

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to reveal the relationship between perceived bullying and the features of a favourable working environment; and second, to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to reveal the relationship between perceived bullying and the features of a favourable working environment; and second, to indicate bullying factors that especially worsen the working environment and working environment factors that contribute to the bullying experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

In Spring 2014, 864 staff members—including teachers, researchers, administrators, project workers and service staff—from nine Estonian universities answered an e-mail questionnaire.

Findings

It was revealed that “professional understating”, “unreasonable work-related demands” and “work-related malpractice” are forms of bullying that negatively affect the working atmosphere. “Appreciation”, “vertical trust”, “predictability” and “quality of leadership” are working environment factors that contribute to the experiences of bullying. Experiences of “professional understating” seem to reduce feelings related to all features of a favourable working atmosphere. A lack of “appreciation” appears to be a key environment feature that also plays a role in workplace bullying.

Research limitations/implications

In Estonian universities, first, “professional understating” negatively affects the feelings of “appreciation”; in contrast, a lack of “appreciation” contributes to feelings of “professional understating”. Second, “unreasonable work-related demands” is a sign of a shortage of “vertical trust” and the opposite of “trust” between management and employees, which obviously decreases perceived “workload”. The present results can be applied in at least three contexts: cultural and institutional studies, leadership practices and personal work control.

Originality/value

The detailed examination showed that it is possible to reveal certain bullying factors that specifically affect certain environment factors and find out particular working environment features that contribute specifically to certain kinds of bullying.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Ashish Kalra, Raj Agnihotri, Sunali Talwar, Amin Rostami and Prabhat K. Dwivedi

Although the role of the internal competitive work environment is important, it remains understudied in a business-to-business (B2B) selling context. Grounded in…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the role of the internal competitive work environment is important, it remains understudied in a business-to-business (B2B) selling context. Grounded in job-demands resources theory, this study aims to investigate the relationships between internal competitive work environment, working smart, emotional exhaustion and sales performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 147 salespeople working for a financial service firm. Sales performance ratings were reported by supervisors. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This study finds dual effects of the internal competitive work environment on salesperson’s job outcomes. Although such an environment improves working smart behaviors, which increases sales performance, it also increases emotional exhaustion, which reduces sales performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends job-demands resources theory by proposing internal competitive work environment as a challenge demand and extends the theory by proposing that a salesperson’s time management skills as a personal resource that may reduce such environment’s deleterious effects.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consider the complex nature of increasing competition within the organization and assess the ability of their workforce to effectively manage their time. Training programs that develop time management skills should also be promoted.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is among the first to consider the multifaceted effects of the internal competitive work environment in a B2B sales context. By focusing on the duality of the work environment, this study provides a greater understanding of the influences of organizational factors on sales performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2019

Barry P. Haynes, Louise Suckley and Nick Nunnington

The paper aims to explore the relationship between office occupier work activity and workplace provision. It tests the proposition that location-fixed office workers are…

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1048

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the relationship between office occupier work activity and workplace provision. It tests the proposition that location-fixed office workers are not well-supported in the working environment as location-flexible office workers. The research also explores the perceptions of the workplace provision based upon the types of tasks completed at the desk-location, whether this was collaborative or focussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a cross-sectional approach using an online questionnaire to collect data from several offices in the Middles East. The dataset consists of 405 responses. One-way analysis of variance was conducted to understand the relationship between location flexibility and perception of productivity. In addition, a series of t test were used to evaluate the relationship between work activities and office environment.

Findings

The results show that those workers who were location-fixed perceived the workplace provision to have a more negative impact on their productivity than those who had a greater level of location-flexibility, particularly with regards to noise levels and interruptions. In terms of types of activities, those that undertook more collaborative tasks valued the facilitation of creativity and interaction from the workplace provision.

Research limitations/implications

The research has limitations as data collection was at one-point in time and therefore lacks the opportunity to undertake longitudinal analysis. However, the research gives greater insights into the alignment of office environments based on flexibility and work activity.

Practical implications

The paper identifies implications for the design and development of office environments by identifying the need for office occupier activity profiles. These profiles can underpin data-led design which should promote a tailored choice appropriate work setting that can maximise productivity.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the research area of workplace alignment. It establishes that optimal workplace alignment requires a better understanding of office occupier needs based on location-flexibility and work activity.

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Ana Chadburn, Judy Smith and Joshua Milan

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the drivers that allow for enhanced personal productivity of knowledge-based workers in Central London focusing on the physical and…

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1797

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the drivers that allow for enhanced personal productivity of knowledge-based workers in Central London focusing on the physical and social environment as well as worker’s individual preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

A closed-ended questionnaire was sent to employees of eight professional companies (Consultancy, Financial and Media Services) based in Central London. Of the 500 questionnaires sent, 213 were successfully completed and returned, representing a response rate of 42.6 per cent.

Findings

The findings from this trial study show that comfort, convenience, IT connectivity, good design and working to a specific time scale were strong drivers of personal productivity. Knowledge workers prefer a flexible range of office settings that enable both a stimulating open and connected work environment, knowledge sharing, collaboration, as well as quiet concentration locations, free of distractions and noise. It was also found that moves of knowledge workers into open-plan office space (and especially fee earners) is normally met with initial resistance. However, there is normally greater acceptance of open space after experiencing an actual move into open-plan, with benefits improving teamwork and communication being highlighted. The research also stresses that office design considerations need to be closer aligned with knowledge worker’s overall well-being and individual psychological needs.

Research limitations/implications

Limited to Central London offices and self-assessed evaluation of productivity drivers within the knowledge worker’s office environment.

Practical implications

Corporate real estate managers and office occupiers, designers and facilities managers can use the findings as part of their workplace strategy by providing a range of flexible workplaces that allow the knowledge worker a place for greater personal productivity through the provision of a well-designed collaborative office environment alongside private and quiet working spaces. Developers and landlords should also be aware of these requirements when taking their decisions.

Originality/value

This paper focuses specifically on the high-productivity knowledge-based work environment, demonstrating that there is a need to consider the collaborative physical and social environment and the individual preferences of knowledge workers to ensure enhanced personal productivity and well-being within the office. This can be achieved through the provision of a well-designed office space that allows for open, connected and comfortable work environments, as well as opportunities to use dedicated concentration spaces that are free of distraction. It was also shown that hot-desking was unanimously disliked by knowledge workers.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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