Production Workers’ Perception of Standardisation – The Relations Between Standardisation and Stress
Paper in proceedings, 2011
As a part of their transformation to lean production companies are increasing the proportion of standardised work. Standardisation is commonly put forward as a means to reduce variability and improve quality. It is also expected to embody a base-line for improvement. A great deal of the criticism of lean production is associated with standardisation. Main concerns are that it could lead to monotony and intensification of work. The main question of the paper is: how does an increasing level of standardisation affect the psychosocial work environment of production workers? A total of 48 production workers from three Swedish production companies participated in a survey. In a questionnaire the respondents rated their perception of a number of aspects related to how standardised work is implemented in their company. In addition they rated their psychosocial work environment. The main conclusion of the study is that it is not possible to declare that increasing the level of standardisation is plain good or bad from a work environment point of view. The results show that good quality standards are important from an efficiency point of view as well as a stress perspective.