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Effect assessment in work environment interventions: A methodological reflection
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering , Ryerson University , Canada.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Royal Institute of Technology , Huddinge, Sweden.
School of Business, Mälardalen University , Västerås, Sweden.
Royal Institute of Technology , Huddinge, Sweden.
2010 (English)In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 53, no 1, 130-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses a number of issues for work environment intervention (WEI) researchers in light of the mixed results reported in the literature. If researchers emphasise study quality over intervention quality, reviews that exclude case studies with high quality and multifactorial interventions may be vulnerable to quality criteria selection bias. Learning from failed interventions is inhibited by both publication bias and reporting lengths that limit information on relevant contextual and implementation factors. The authors argue for the need to develop evaluation approaches consistent with the complexity of multifactorial WEIs that: a) are owned by and aimed at the whole organisation; and b) include intervention in early design stages where potential impact is highest. Context variety, complexity and instability in and around organisations suggest that attention might usefully shift from generalisable proof of effectiveness to a more nuanced identification of intervention elements and the situations in which they are more likely to work as intended. Statement of Relevance: This paper considers ergonomics interventions from perspectives of what constitutes quality and proofo. It points to limitations of traditional experimental intervention designs and argues that the complexity of organisational change, and the need for multifactorial interventions that reach deep into work processes for greater impact, should be recognised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2010. Vol. 53, no 1, 130-137 p.
Keyword [en]
ergonomics intervention, macroergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, research methodology
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53690DOI: 10.1080/00140130903349914ISI: 000273610600012OAI: diva2:291264
Available from: 2010-02-01 Created: 2010-02-01 Last updated: 2014-03-04Bibliographically approved

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Eklund, Jörgen
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Department of Management and EngineeringThe Institute of Technology
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