Attitudes of Blue-Collar Employes Towards Work with Regard to Work and Work Conditions Coupled to Production System Designs
Preprint, 2010

The two authors have in this article manuscript (preprint not yet completed due to the retirement of one of the authors), which has not yet been published, gathered some experiences and insights dealing with a special sort of questionnaires surveys concerning among other things work and work environment matters.

It covers a number of questionnaire surveys (nine) conducted within the automotive and manufactory industry during more than a decade. They are in many respects unique since they are all so-called total surveys (embracing all blue-collar employees, but two of the latest ones also includes all of the white-collar employees, i.e. at the Volvo Buss Company located in Borås and at the Atlet Company for truck manufacturing located in Mölnlycke (see the other so-called workplace reports, i.e. “arbetsplatsrapporter” in Swedish, registered in Chalmers Public Library CPL).

They are unique due to at least two facts. At first, as has already been stated, (1) they are all embracing so-called total surveys (making statistical treatments much easier). Secondly, (2) they are all including complementary data-collections, which in turn has allowed the authors to design particular questions suited for each questionnaire form regarding were and with what the respondent is working (each sole questionnaire form have to suit each single production system design (as well as, rather naturally, these forms must also be understandable, i.e. each and every questionnaire form has been carefully prototyped by the authors).

I the latter case, the authors have tried to grasp the function of each and every production system. This have been based on our own constructions of so-called schematic layouts (i.e. explaining who the production system in question functions in practice by means illustrating e.g. buffer, product flows, operators and workgroups position etc.) (these layouts are something else than more geographical-orientated layouts with building walls, ports, positions of aisles and machines, etc.). These schematic layouts are partly based on, as well as substantiated by, our own data collection of company information, interviews, study visits etc.

In conclusion, the authors’ method to carry out questionnaire surveys, even though being more labour intensive for the researchers, have some merits. Like the provides far better possibilities to prospect the questionnaire data, especially so in comparison to the common ways to conduct the yearly so-called co-worker questionnaire surveys in Sweden (in fact, such initiatives are in many respect a waste of resources).

This particular way (or specific scientific method) open up potentials to construct new so-called analytical categories, which in turns allows others (as well as us) to carry out longitudinal studied for the same case (please remember, the yearly co-worker questionnaire surveys just mentioned). Or to conduct meta-analyses of several different cases, each with its own distinctive characteristics) (like the e.g. unique production system design, workgroup features etc.,). All these matters are treated more in-depth in this manuscript (as well as also in some of the authors’ other publications registered in Chalmers Public Library CPL).

A comment (in order to be explicit): Note that by means of this specific method to organize questionnaire surveys (including complementary data collection) it is feasible to couple (softer) questionnaire data to (harder) technical data like operators perception of work and work conditions to parameters like product flow patterns and buffer functions and positions (see the authours' other publications).


questionnaire surveys

cross and multi-sciences approaches

manufacturing technology

perception of work and work conditions

manufacturing system design

statistical analyses


Bo Blomquist

Göteborgs universitet

Tomas Engström

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport


Övrig annan teknik

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