Date of Award
Master of Applied Science (MASc)
Sub-optimal work system design results in ill-effects for individuals, businesses, and society. By improving the integration of social and technical systems in design by industrial engineers, work system outcomes could be improved. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 Canadian industrial engineers. Data was transcribed, coded, and analyzed using an iterative, inductive process. Results showed that industrial engineering practice is diverse and is influenced by macro-, meso-, and mirco-level ecological factors. Stakeholder awareness of industrial engineering, management support and understanding, role clarity, organizational structure, and relationships between industrial engineers and management, system users, and ergonomists all influenced the effectiveness of industrial engineers. It was concluded that a systemic approach to changing the work system design process is most likely to be successful in establishing consistent, long-term improvement of work system outcomes and application of ergonomics. Further investigation of work system design practices from the perspective of management and system users is recommended.
Mekitiak, Megan, "Industrial Engineers on their Current Practice: Implications for the Integration of Social and Technical Sub-Systems in Work System Design" (2009). Theses and dissertations. Paper 132.