Advanced manufacturing technology, work design, and performance: a change study

Toby D. Wall, J. Martin Corbett, Robin Martin, Chris W. Clegg, Paul R. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two alternative work designs are identified for operators of stand-alone advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). In the case of specialist control, operators are limited to running and monitoring the technology, with operating problems handled by specialists, such as engineers. In the case of operator control, operators are given much broader responsibilities and deal directly with the majority of operating problems encountered. The hypothesis that operator control would promote better performance and psychological well-being than would specialist control (which is more prevalent) was tested in a longitudinal field study involving work redesign for operators of computer-controlled assembly machines. Change from specialist to operator control reduced downtime, especially for high-variance systems, and was associated with greater intrinsic job satisfaction and less perceived work pressure. The implications of these findings for both small and large-scale applications of AMT are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume75
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990

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