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A Specific Method Developed for Carrying Questionnaire Surveys. Or, how to amalgamate operators’ perception with production system design and to organisational units within hospitals. Explanations and some short examples

Tomas Engström (Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management ) ; Bo Blomquist

This article (or preprint) is a more universally orientated compilation (with a number of short examples) of some of the authors’ research and development work, than what have been published before. The content is based on a number of special designed questionnaire surveys carried out by the authors during almost three decades. Thus, we explain a specific method, which has been judged necessary to make public since it makes questionnaire studies more scientific valuable in particular senses. This specific method was developed and practiced for the automotive and manufacturing industry, and thereafter refined further for yet another sector of the society (the health-care sector). This means that, at first (1992–2006), were a number plants/production systems (mainly Volvo operations) evaluated by means of dealing with blue-collar employees (however, the two most recent questionnaire surveys were also embracing the category of white-collar employees included). Note that all of these questionnaire surveys comprised all of the employees within the categories studied (i.e. not just a sample of operators) (the most extensive comprised 1 100 blue-collar employees). Secondly (2011–2015), was Skaraborgs Sjukhus in focus for the authors’ interest. In this case were we initially dealing with yearly questionnaire surveys dispatched to all employees regarding work and work conditions. This means, that the so-called co-workers’ questionnaires surveys were paid special interest (as have been and still are practiced within e.g. all public Swedish hospital, as well as within some other both private and public sectors). Thereafter were quite other matter within this hospital of a more geographical and organisational nature tickling our awareness. Specifically, this means, that for the automotive cases were we already from the beginning especially competent due to the fact that one of the authors had earlier (1976–1984) been involved in automotive matters, while his research colleagues and he intensified this research and development work thereafter (1985–1992). During the latter phase, were they systematically disassembling several products, and compared these findings with the content in a number of information systems (as a part of his earlier long-time research and development work to design several production systems mainly for both the Volvo Automobile and Truck Corporations). During this particular phase where we involved in e.g. complementation and reconfiguration of the so-called product information for the products disassembled. Thereby were the physical products, as well as the less obvious anomalies of various information systems, possible to be mastered in ways that were and still are quite uncommon for most practitioners as well as scientists. A deeper understanding of a number of different aspects implied being of interest were thereby gained before the method for questionnaires studies at all became important for us. We were therefore in these automotive cases, already from the very beginning, possessing a “sort of reference” for the work to understand e.g. both the product and the function of the production systems in question (this was thereby achieved long before questionnaire surveys proved to be attention-grabbing). In contrast, for the Skaraborgs Sjukhus, were such “sort of reference” not initially at hand for us (this sector of the society was totally unfamiliar for us). That is, we were (as novices) instead, in this case, required to as before for the automotive industry, cross-refer information from various sources of information by means of a number of different methods that partly will be clarified it this article. And, to thereafter compare these results with results from particular inventories of the building facilities (which, in analogy the earlier insights and experiences, served as a “sort of reference”). The specific method to carry out questionnaire studies, requires detailed control out of each and every individual operator’s work and work place. In addition, it is therefore a matter of taking advantage of auxiliary information like (1) both real-life and schematic layouts, (2) individuals and workgroups geographical positions therein. That is, all of the different questionnaire forms comprised specially constructed questions concerning where and with what the individual operator (respondent) were working (one key question was thereby how to construct such questions for the two different sectors of the society). As partly already hinted, such achievements require that we must gain an, in depth, understanding of each and every particular plant/production system (or gain a similar understanding of all medical operations). One merit (or the increased scientific value) is that we were able to link subjective information with more hard facts, i.e. it has thereby proved possible for us to amalgamate operators’ perception with e.g. production system design.

This article (or preprint) was authored during the period of time just after one of the two authors had retired from Chalmers University of Technology. At least two reasons for publishing are thus at hand. These are: (1) Specific research findings have gradually become somewhat embarrassing for the authors, since these were not yet formally (in all needed respects) made public for practitioners and scientist in the more traditional academic ways. While at the same time (2) were computer facilities still accessible for him to formally register articles using Chalmers Public Library (CPL) (i.e. the formal library at this university). This article may eventually at first be published by means of the website “Research Gate” in order to investigate if further efforts to publish proves to be interest for others.

Denna post skapades 2017-06-01. Senast ändrad 2017-06-10.
CPL Pubid: 249548


Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management
Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap (GU)


Annan naturvetenskap

Chalmers infrastruktur