Just-in-time (JIT) production systems are increasingly being seen as a vital way for manufacturing organizations to enhance their competitiveness. A number of commentators have suggested that this will simplify jobs and reduce employee well-being. This paper presents a conceptual framework for interpreting the effects of JIT and reports findings from a study of the impact of JIT on the content of workers'jobs and on job satisfaction and psychological strain. The introduction of JIT led to a reduction in control over work timing, an increase in production pressure, and a drop in job satisfaction. Contrary to claims in the literature, no changes were found in control over work methods, other aspects of cognitive demands and skill use, and in psychological strain. The study shows that JIT can be implemented without radical changes in job content or adverse impact in terms of employee strain, and the implications of these findings are discussed.
- inventory control
- employee well-being