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The process of work environmental changes in manufacturing companies
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2091-6396
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

For survival reasons, the process of change is ever-present in companies. If well conducted it can create commitment, new knowledge and skills as well as meet workers need for development. To succeed it is crucial to understand how changes come about.

 

Objectives

The aim of this study was to investigate how changes, especially improvements of work environment issues, within manufacturing companies are initiated, processed and implemented.

 

Methods

Twelve managers in charge of work environment issues, representing twelve randomly selected small, medium and large manufacturing companies within the wood-, paper-, metal-, and steel sectors in central Sweden were interviewed. The semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed.

 

Results

 The managers described work environmental changes as a continuous process of development, central for the company’s competitiveness. Economic incentives were the prime driving force for change. The organisational structure was considered as a key factor for initiating and implementing changes, and it was described how hierarchical structures had been transformed into more self-managing structures where the individuals, as well as the group, now had extended responsibilities.

 As internal driving forces for change the managers described how many ideas came from the employees, and that informal communication was a key concept in order to take advantage of the employees’ ideas and creativity. External driving forces were rather customer requirements like quality- and environmental certifications than legislative requirements.

Common obstacles during the process of change were issues of economy, poor communication, employee resistance and inactive management.  

The managers regarded the evaluation of implemented changes, in general, as poor and mainly concentrated on obvious economical issues. Reasons for this were time constraints, and that customer matters always were prioritized over internal processes.

 

Conclusions

In order for consultants, authorities or researchers to address change and development at companies it is necessary to understand how these organisations perceive, think and act regarding these matters. The present study suggests that possible gateways can be economy, employee health, leadership, employee involvement and participation, and evaluation routines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [sv]
arbetsmiljö, förändring, processer, initiering, intervention, tillverkningsindustri
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-12687DiVA: diva2:547372
Conference
NES2012 - Nordic Ergonomics Spciety Conference, Saltsjöbaden, 19-22 augusti 2012
Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-08-27 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf