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Maximization of Labor Productivity Through Optimal Rest-Break Schedules

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Author Info

  • Stephen E. Bechtold

    (College of Business, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306)

  • Ralph E. Janaro

    (Department of Management, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13676)

  • De Witt L. Sumners

    (Department of Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306)

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    Abstract

    This paper focuses upon the maximization of labor productivity through selection of the optimal number, duration, and placement of rest breaks. It is demonstrated that resolution of the limited validity associated with previous models leads to a mixed-integer quadratic programming formulation of this problem. Efficient analytic procedures are developed which allow solutions to be obtained in minutes using a hand-held calculator. Then, the characteristics, properties, and potential effectiveness of optimal solutions are examined through an illustration from an existing work environment. Issues relevant to the implementation of the models are presented in a summary of an initial experiment in which one of the models in this paper was used to select rest break policy. The results of this experiment indicated that the output achieved using the model's policy was 13% higher than the output achieved when the subjects used their own rest break policies. Several future research topics are also identified.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.30.12.1442
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1984)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 1442-1458

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:12:p:1442-1458

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    Related research

    Keywords: production/scheduling: work studies; productivity; programming: integer; applications;

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