Lean Production Systems and Worker Satisfaction
The Toyota Production System endeavors to attain leanness by relying on a number of key philosophical tenets, one of which being respect for people. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that leanness in the Western World often turns into lean becomes mean. Prof. Dr. Avijit Banerjee examined important issues concerning worker satisfaction in lean systems and reveals that workers’ suggestion autonomy, a self-reported measure, tends to be lower than initial managerial expectations. Nevertheless, the positive motivational effects of such autonomy on the workers’ sense of well-being are manifested in the form of higher perceived job security and overall satisfaction, as well as a diminished sense of effort-reward unfairness.
In his lecture he illustrates how an integrated approach to organizational design can enhance overall employee satisfaction. Thus, worker sentiments in this respect can and should be gauged by the firm, before it moves in the direction of excessive leanness, eventually leading to suboptimal performance.