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A Top-Down Rationalisation in Mail Delivery – Short-term Outcomes
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial ergonomics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2002 (English)In: Organization, Intensity of Work, Quality of Work, Paris, France 21-22 November 2002, 8- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish Post Office is undergoing large-scale restructuring, including outsourcing of the mail service division to an independent market driven organisation. As a consequence of exposure to competition, the local delivery offices were rationalised by introducing a new working concept called “Best Method”. It was a top-down change process that included downsizing the personnel, more standardisation of working and formalisation of delivery time. The changes have influenced the postmen’s working conditions in several ways and they perceive a greater workload. This paper aims to identify the factors that contribute to the increased workload and work intensification due to the rationalisation inherent in the new working concept. The findings emerge from an evaluative investigation conducted during autumn 2001 at fifteen local delivery offices in different parts of Sweden. It was carried out by an independent research team in industrial ergonomics through participant observation, 60 in-depth interviews and a questionnaire answered by 524 postal personnel, mainly postmen. Several factors contributing to the increased workload and work intensification have been identified, such as a faster work pace and greater physical workload, less flexibility for the individual, insufficient participation, shortcomings and contradictions in the new working concept, deficient strategic planning and systems thinking, and a somewhat indistinct organisational philosophy. Further research activities are now taking place and an intervention study is in the planning stage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling , 2002. 8- p.
Keyword [en]
Post, mail service, postmen, restructuring, rationalisation, change process, task structure, work effort, workload, work intensity, work intensification
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10453OAI: diva2:17189
Available from: 2007-12-18 Created: 2007-12-18 Last updated: 2009-03-27

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