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Healthcare workers and Lean implementation - Working conditions, workers’ health and performance

The concept Lean Production, which originated in the automotive industry, is increasingly gaining foothold in in Swedish municipalities and county councils and their work with the activity development. The Swedish program Verksamhetslyftet provides training courses in Lean as support to municipalities and county councils in their efforts to implement Lean.

There is relatively little research done on how the Lean concept affects the employees, particularly outside of the manufacturing industry. However, the existing empirical research, mostly from the industry, seems to indicate mixed results for employees, with some emphasis on negative results. It is therefore of great importance to study this issue further, especially as research suggests frequent negative consequences for employees following changes in health care activities.

The purpose of the research project is to, in cooperation with the program bearing the same name, study two aspects of the municipalities’ and hospitals’ work with Lean:
1) How can the Lean activities be organized in such a way that a sustainable development is achieved?
2) How is the employees’ health, work and work environment affected when Lean is introduced in the activities?

Some relevant questions for research are what the organizations actually do when they implement Lean? How is work content and work organization affected? How do the employees experience the introduction of Lean? What possibilities for learning and participation are there in the Lean work? Are men and women affected differently when Lean is introduced? And how is the psychosocial and physical work environment affected?


Jörgen Eklund, Professor, tel. +46 (0)8 - 790 4866
email: jorgen.eklund @
Roy Lindskog, PhD student, tel. +46 (0)8 - 790 9748
email: pernilla.lindskog @
Michael Burn Mark, PhD student, tel. +46 (0)8 - 970 4889
email: mikael.brannmanr @