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Low inventory, or just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing systems, enjoy increasing application worldwide, yet the behavioral effects of such systems remain largely unexplored. Operations Research (OR) models of low inventory systems typically make a simplifying assumption that individual worker processing times are independent random variables. This leads to predictions that low-inventory systems will exhibit production interruptions. Yet empirical results suggest that low-inventory systems do not exhibit the predicted productivity losses. This paper develops a model integrating feedback, goal-setting, group cohesiveness, task norms, and peer pressure to predict how individual behavior may adjust to alleviate production interruptions in low-inventory systems. In doing so we integrate previous research on the development of task norms. Findings suggest that low-inventory systems induce individual and group responses that cause behavioral changes that mitigate production interruptions.


Suggested Citation
Schultz, K. L., Juran, D. C. & Boudreau, J. W. (1997). The effects of JIT on the development of productivity norms (CAHRS Working Paper #97-17). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.