Creative tension in a lean work environment: implications for logistics firms and workers

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Abstract

In this paper we use the concept of “creative tension” from the lean production philosophy to reconcile the need for added value and cost control in logistics. Due to thin profit margins, a managerial orientation on logistics employees as a source of costs rather than a source of added value prevails. However, to foster employee well-being and organizational effectiveness, a fit is needed between the job characteristics influenced by the need for process control, and workers' need for autonomy and creativity in their jobs. The fit hypothesis was tested across two logistics service providers. Results from both studies indicated that challenging and enabling workers to creatively use their talents and skills in daily work will most likely lead to positive results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Volume137
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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