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Safety Reloaded: Lean Operations and High Involvement Work Practices for Sustainable Workplaces


  • Arnaldo Camuffo

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Federica Stefano

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Chiara Paolino

    () (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)


Abstract Starting from the recent quest to investigate the human side of organizational sustainability, this study applies a variety of regression analyses to investigate the effects of Lean Operations, High Involvement Work Practices, and management behaviors on occupational safety. It tests and finds support for the hypotheses that Lean Production systems, High Involvement Work Practices, and two specific management behaviors—workers’ capability development (coaching and teaching of workers) and empowerment (autonomy and participation of workers in developing their own job standards)—positively affect occupational safety. Furthermore, empowering behaviors positively moderate the effect of Lean Operations on workers’ safety. The study bridges sustainable operations literature with theories related to the ethical side of safety management, sustainable HRM, ethical leadership, and empowerment. In doing so, it contributes to the understanding of occupational safety as constitutive aspect of organizational sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaldo Camuffo & Federica Stefano & Chiara Paolino, 2017. "Safety Reloaded: Lean Operations and High Involvement Work Practices for Sustainable Workplaces," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(2), pages 245-259, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2590-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2590-8

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