The Impact of Absenteeism on the Quality of Assembly Line Production: Is the Value of Worker Experti
Absenteeism among manual workers is, without doubt, one of the most significant factors to affect the functioning of assembly lines in developed markets. That high levels of absenteeism have negative repercussions on the quality and costs of operations is a widely held view. According to the scientific theory of work, workers who temporarily stand in for their absent colleagues affect production quality levels because of a lack of work specialization. However, as the technology of assembly lines has improved, the need for line operator specialization has gone into decline. In this article, we analyse the effects of absenteeism on four assembly lines over the course of one year. The analysis of two hundred working days reveals more than two hundred thousand instances of effects on the quality of products. In contrast to established thinking, the empirical evidence we present here confirms that absenteeism does not produce problems in the quality of operations even at the highest levels. This evidence can be explained by the fact that the value of specialisation among manual workers has been significantly reduced by the invention of more sophisticated and specialised machinery.
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|Publication status:||Forthcoming, Human Factor and Ergonomics in Manufacturing|
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