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Lean-inspired development work in agriculture: Implications for the work environment
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3018-2258
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; Linköping University, Sweden.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2241-2749
2020 (English)In: Agronomy Research, ISSN 1406-894X, E-ISSN 2228-4907, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 324-345Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Farmers operate in a turbulent environment that includes international competition, weather conditions and animal behaviour, for example, and is difficult for them to control. However, economy and productivity always have a high priority. As a consequence, farms have started to implement lean-inspired work systems. At the same time, health and safety are of urgent concern in the sector. This article explores how famers apply lean-inspired work processes. It identifies work environment changes during and after a lean implementation, as well as possible developments in the work environment following implementation of the lean philosophy. Data were collected from three groups: lean, lean-light and development-inclined reference farms (in total 54 farms), using a questionnaire and interviews. The results indicate that a majority of the lean farms were applying several lean principles and tools, and the lean philosophy. The lean-light farms applied parts of the lean concept, while the reference farms applied some of the more general tools, used in lean and elsewhere, such as visualisation in various forms and to various extents. The results showed positive effects of lean on the psychosocial work environment, better work structure and improved information, communication and co-operation. The physical work environment was improved to some extent by lean, where advantages such as a more structured and practical work environment with less physical movements and locomotion could be noticed. The lean concept provided a more structured and systematic approach to dealing with work and production environmental issues, for managers as well as for employees.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eesti Pollumajandusulikool , 2020. Vol. 18, no 2, p. 324-345
Keywords [en]
Farm, Farm business, Lean Production, Physical work environment, Psychosocial work environment, Safety and health, Structure, Work organisation
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-45103DOI: 10.15159/AR.20.043Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85085885430OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-45103DiVA, id: diva2:1446992
Note

Funding details: AFA försäkring, 140216; Funding text 1: The authors would like to express their gratitude to the farmers and their employees for the time they took to contribute to the research. The authors would also like to acknowledge Lean Lantbruk (Lean Agriculture) for structural help in the research. The research was made possible by contributions from the SLO fund 2012?2014 (project number 11?0001?SLO) and from AFA Insurance for the project ?How Lean can provide a safer work environment in agriculture: 2015?2017? (project number 140216). Lean coaches, project managers and project evaluators played an interactive role during the project.

Available from: 2020-06-25 Created: 2020-06-25 Last updated: 2023-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, KarinAnna, Rydberg

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