The autonomous flexible labor force

Evan Barlow*, Gad Allon, Achal Bassamboo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Flexible human resources and lean business processes are integral components of many operations. In this paper, we present and analyze a model that explores the interaction between a worker's production autonomy and chosen breadth of training. This model helps explain why existing observations and the literature are mixed regarding whether lean initiatives accompany production autonomy. We also present empirically testable hypotheses that highlight interesting model insights. Finally, we use results from our model to argue that an efficient company attempting to become leaner by “doing more with less” is likely to lower the size of the workforce and lower production autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalManagerial and Decision Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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