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

Abstract

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.

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Fig. 1

Abbreviations

JIT:

Just in time

SMED:

Single minute exchange of die

TPM:

Total productive maintenance

SPC:

Statistical process control

OEE:

Overall equipment effectiveness

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Correspondence to Arnaldo Camuffo.

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Camuffo, A., De Stefano, F. & Paolino, C. Safety Reloaded: Lean Operations and High Involvement Work Practices for Sustainable Workplaces. J Bus Ethics 143, 245–259 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2590-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2590-8

Keywords

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