Macroergonomics: Theory, Methods, and Applications

Macroergonomics: Theory, Methods, and Applications

Macroergonomics: Theory, Methods, and Applications

Macroergonomics: Theory, Methods, and Applications


This book's primary objective is to provide a comprehensive coverage of ergonomics in overall work system analysis and design. It provides a summary of the historical development of macroergonomics. It explains how an understanding of macroergonomics can lead to improvements in such things as reducing work-related lost time accidents; and describes the methods and tools used in work system analysis and design. Throughout, the integrating theme is that the full potential of an organization--in terms of productivity, safety, health, and Quality of Work Life (QWL)--can't be met unless the overall work system is designed to conform with the characteristics of its technology, personnel subsystem, and the external environment upon which it depends for its survival and success. Using a sociotechnical systems approach, this text discusses the application of macroergonomics to training system development, hazard management, technology transfer, large scale organizational change projects, office and factory automation, community planning and development, and job design. For each of these applications, actual case examples will be included.

The book will appeal to teachers of introductory human factors/ergonomics courses as a supplemental text or as the primary text for a course fully devoted to macroergonomics. In addition, it should also appeal to practicing ergonomists internationally as a "must" add to their personal professional libraries.


This volume represents a major milestone in the development and dissemination of knowledge in the comparatively new sub-discipline of human factors or ergonomics that is known as macroergonomics. Macroergonomics is concerned with the analysis, design and evaluation of work systems. The editors have assembled an international array of academicians in this field—persons who have been contributing knowledge through research and applying macroergonomics to a broad spectrum of organizations. This comprehensive, advanced set of works follows the release of an introductory volume, Macroergonomics: An Introduction to Work System Design, published by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and authored by the editors of this volume. With the introduction to the field established by HFES, the editors now seek to advance the understanding and application of macroergonomics by assembling a group of their distinguished colleagues from the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

The volume is divided into two major Parts. In Part I, macroergonomics is introduced. Chapter 1, by Hendrick, gives an overview of the basic concepts and theoretical constructs of macroergonomics. Chapter 2, presented by Brown, covers the method of participation as applied in macroergonomics interventions. The method of assessing work system structure (Chapter 3) is presented by Hendrick. Chapter 4 addresses the assessment of work system processes and is presented by Robertson, Kleiner, and O'Neill. Hendrick then presents additional methods in Chapter 5. In Chapter 6, Nagamachi, using his own research as a basis, discusses the relationship among job design, macroergonomics and productivity. Part I concludes with a chapter by Kleiner that illustrates how research methods can be used to empirically test and evaluate macroergonomic constructs and factors for increased work system understanding.

In Part II, chapters are presented that focus on macroergonomics applications. These application areas include reducing work related injuries (Chapter 8) presented by Imada; information and communications technology (Chapter 9) presented by Bradley; hazards (Chapter 10) presented by T. Smith; manufacturing (Chapter 11) presented by Karwowski and Salvendy, et al.; training system development (Chapter 12) presented by Robertson; large-scale organizational change (Chapter 13) presented by Kleiner; community planning and development (Chapter 14) presented by H.J. Smith and Carayon et al.; technology transfer (Chapter 15) presented by Shahnavaz; and aviation (Chapter 16) presented by Meshkati. The need for macroergonomic analysis and design is realized with a discussion by Meshkati of macroergonomic aspects of major disasters (Chapter 17). In the final chapter (Chapter 18) Zink offers a vision of macroergonomics for the future.

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