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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Applied Ergonomics, Volume 40, Issue 4, July 2009, Pages 745–752
Managers usually associate ergonomics with occupational health and safety and related legislation, not with business performance. In many companies, these decision makers seem not to be positively motivated to apply ergonomics for reasons of improving health and safety. In order to strengthen the position of ergonomics and ergonomists in the business and management world, we discuss company strategies and business goals to which ergonomics could contribute. Conceptual models are presented and examples are given to illustrate: (1) the present situation in which ergonomics is not part of regular planning and control cycles in organizations to ensure business performance; and (2) the desired situation in which ergonomics is an integrated part of strategy formulation and implementation. In order to realize the desired situation, considerable changes must take place within the ergonomics research, education and practice community by moving from a health ergonomics paradigm to a business ergonomics paradigm, without losing the health and safety goals.
The value of ergonomics extends beyond health and safety. This discussion paper emphasizes how – while maintaining health and safety of consumers and workers – ergonomics can support a company's business strategy to stay competitive. For this discussion we employ the broad definition of ergonomics, proposed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA): “Ergonomics (or human factors) is … concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, … in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.” (IEA Council, 2000). The definition implies that ergonomics has both a social goal (well-being) and an economic goal (total system performance); that ergonomics considers both physical and psychological human aspects; and that ergonomics is looking for solutions in both technical and organizational domains. Performance aspects could include output volume, lead time, production flexibility, quality levels and operating cost among others.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Ergonomics can contribute to many different company strategies and support the objectives of different business functions and of the organization as a whole. The proposed linking of ergonomics explicitly to specific business strategies and desired business outcomes, as suggested by the IEA description of ergonomics, remains a great challenge for the ergonomics discipline. For many ergonomists in research, education and practice, it means a paradigm shift, which requires a re-positioning from a primary health ergonomics approach to a more business-oriented ergonomics approach. We argue that, by contributing to the shared goals of business performance, ergonomists will also be better able to reach their traditional health and safety objectives.