Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 143, Issue 2, pp 245–259 | Cite as

Safety Reloaded: Lean Operations and High Involvement Work Practices for Sustainable Workplaces

  • Arnaldo CamuffoEmail author
  • Federica De Stefano
  • Chiara Paolino


Starting from the recent quest to investigate the human side of organizational sustainability, this study applies a variety of regression analyses to investigate the effects of Lean Operations, High Involvement Work Practices, and management behaviors on occupational safety. It tests and finds support for the hypotheses that Lean Production systems, High Involvement Work Practices, and two specific management behaviors—workers’ capability development (coaching and teaching of workers) and empowerment (autonomy and participation of workers in developing their own job standards)—positively affect occupational safety. Furthermore, empowering behaviors positively moderate the effect of Lean Operations on workers’ safety. The study bridges sustainable operations literature with theories related to the ethical side of safety management, sustainable HRM, ethical leadership, and empowerment. In doing so, it contributes to the understanding of occupational safety as constitutive aspect of organizational sustainability.


Lean Production High Involvement Work Practices Occupational safety Sustainable operations Management behaviors Empowerment 



Just in time


Single minute exchange of die


Total productive maintenance


Statistical process control


Overall equipment effectiveness


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnaldo Camuffo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Federica De Stefano
    • 1
  • Chiara Paolino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management & Technology – CRIOSBocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly

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