Postprint version. Published in Journal of Applied Psychology, Volume 89, Issue 5, October 1, 2004, pages 911-921.
Copyright © 2004 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.89.5.911.
Work flow policies are shown to induce a change in average between-workers variability (worker heterogeneity) and within-worker variability in performance times. In a laboratory experiment, the authors measured the levels of worker heterogeneity and within-worker variability under an individual performance condition, a work sharing condition, and a fixed assignment condition. The work sharing policy increased the levels of worker heterogeneity and worker variability, whereas the fixed assignment policy decreased them. These effects, along with work flow policy main effects on mean performance times and variability are examined. This article represents an initial step in understanding effects that may be important in the selection of an operating policy, the ignorance of which may lead to costly misestimates of performance.
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