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On Stage: Acting for development of businesses and ergonomics in woodworking SMEs
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis reports findings and results from studies of development work and change processes in the secondary woodworking industry. The purpose with the research is to increase the knowledge on how companies can initiate change and to increase their ability to change. The dual aim of improving both business and working conditions served as a guiding condition for the research. Case studies and action research were performed in small companies, mainly with less than 100 employees and in some cases less than 20 employees.

The thesis encompasses six papers addressing different topics within the framework of development work and change processes. Topics elaborated are how performance concerning the ergonomic situation in a company can be measured and how the content and process of ISO 9000 implementation as well as standardisation influence system performance and working conditions. Furthermore, a framework for how change is enacted in SMEs and its effects on ergonomic considerations is suggested. A methodology for initiating change efforts in complex and ambiguous problem situations is presented. Finally the different expert and participant roles in an organisational change effort are elaborated and analysed with reference to experiences from previous case studies and theory.

Together, the papers and the thesis emphasize the importance of action and work activities as a base for change. It is in the conflicting work activities or work conduct of differing perspectives where many of the drivers of change can be found. I also argue that this is a main reason to give good working conditions utmost importance for organisation performance. Further, I conclude that the six papers together contribute to a theoretical basis for developing small firms and attractive workplaces. It is indicated that the results are relevant to small manufacturing firms, while neither organisational structure nor resources available are the same as in larger companies. Moreover, the organisational size has a number of implications on aspects like visibility, available theoretical knowledge, vulnerability, formalisation, institutionalised organisational inertia etc. that will alter the demands on the change process. Many of the results are not limited to woodworking industry; the technical content of the ergonomics problems will however be different in other firms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University , 2007. , p. 141
Series
Linköping studies in science and technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1123
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-5091ISBN: 978-91-85831-18-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-5091DiVA, id: diva2:35911
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2008-01-07 Created: 2008-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Karltun, Johan

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