Table 4 Examples of implementation appraisal summaries (higher scoring studies only)
CitationIntervention, study design and population detailsImplementation details*Score
Employee participation review
Park et al (2004)39Participatory committee to improve team communication and cohesiveness, work scheduling, conflict resolution and employee rewards(1) Researcher initiated to act as a buffer against the adverse effects of recession and uncertainty6
Prospective repeat cross-sectional study(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
All employees, retail store, USA(3) Implementation took place during a period of recession and uncertainty
(5) Professional facilitator assisted with delivery
(6) Employee representative liaised with management and employees
(10) Psychosocial improvements for black and Hispanic, but not white, employees
Mikkelsen and Saksvik (1999)40Conference on working conditions followed by supervisor and employee work groups meeting 2 hours a week, nine times: intervention was moderated by consultants(1) To improve workplace health6
Prospective cohort study with comparison group(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
Manual and clerical workers, Post Office depot, Norway(3) Company undergoing downsizing for financial reasons
(5) Researchers, managers and union representatives helped design the intervention
(7) Management supported the intervention
(8) Union representatives supported the intervention, but the authors report that, in one department, the intervention was neither successfully implemented nor effective, because steering group members lost interest, and personnel were relocated or made redundant
Task restructuring review
Wall et al (1990)41Increased operator control on production line(1) Introduced to increase staff performance5
Prospective cohort(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
Manual workers, factory floor, UK(4) Training was provided
(6) Representative of employees of all grades, and the researchers were involved in a working party overseeing the implementation of the intervention
(8) Some employees were resistant to the intervention
Wall et al (1986)42Autonomous work groups(1) Intervention occurred in a purpose-built factory that was designed with increasing factory floor responsibility and job redesign in mind5
Prospective cohort(2) Underpinned by theory about job redesign
Manual and shop floor supervisors, factory floor, UK(4) Training on intervention was provided
(6) Researchers were not involved in the design or implementation of the intervention
(8) Employee support for the intervention was mixed
Compressed working week review
Williams (1992)43Six/seven 8-hour shifts, 2/4 days off to three/four 12-hour shifts, 2–7 days off(1) Intervention initiated by staff to improve their work/life balance. 90% of staff were dissatisfied with the old system and other local factories had started using 12-hour shifts7
Prospective cohort(3) Pressure from staff led to a management review of different shift schedules with the most popular schedule adopted. 83% voted for the implemented system
Operators, chemical plant, USA(4) Managers went on “fact finding” visits to 12-hour factories to learn about safety implications and how best to implement the change
(5) Staff input central to the planning and consultation process
(6) Key delivery collaborations between staff, union and managers aided implementation
(7) Managers were supportive of the intervention
(8) Union was supportive of the intervention
Wootten (2000a,b)44 457.5-hour to 12-hour shifts(1) Introduced to improve staff health and well-being7
Retrospective cohort(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
Nurses, hospital, UK(4) Colleagues who had implemented similar changes elsewhere were consulted
(5) Staff were consulted over the change
(6) Implemented via collaborations between staff, supervisors and unions
(7) Managers were initially hesitant but then agreed
(8) 75% of staff agreed to a pilot
Brinton (1983)46Five 8-hour shifts, 2 days off to four 12-hour shifts, 3/4 days off(1) Workers’ idea7
Retrospective repeat cross-section(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
Wood yard workers, paper mill, USA(3) Flexibility needed by both union and management to get the new system implemented
(5) New system designed and agreed with the union
(6) Committee set up between the union and managers to monitor safety in the new system
(7) Supported by supervisors. Company management agreed that they would implement the change if a majority of the workforce supported it
(8) Supported by the union
Changes to shift work
Gauderer and Knauth (2004)47Self-scheduling of shifts(1) Introduced to improve the ergonomic design of shifts by involving drivers in their own scheduling5
Prospective cohort with comparison group(2) Explicitly inspired by theories of psychosocial work reorganisation
Bus drivers, public transport depot, Germany(4) Those involved in implementation collected information from other companies that had experienced a similar intervention. Workers attended training workshops to learn how to design their own schedules
(5) Staff, managers and researchers involved in designing the system
(8) Workers’ council voted in favour of the change and, at the end of the 1-year trial period, workers voted to keep the new system
Kandolin and Huida (1996)48Slow to fast rotation; backward to forward rotation; self-scheduling of shifts(1) Introduced to reduce fatigue by decreasing the number of “quick returns” and changing to a forward rotation. Aimed to increase the role of midwives in their own scheduling6
Prospective cohort with comparison group(3) Only a third of the midwives said that they had actually experienced a change to forward rotation, but more experienced less quick returns on the new system. A higher proportion of staff now participated in their own scheduling
Midwives, hospital, Finland(4) Managers had previous experience
(5) Managers carried out the rescheduling
(6) Managers carried out the rescheduling
(8) 55% said they preferred the old system because ofthe longer continuous free time
  • *1 = Motivation; 2 = Theory; 3 = Context; 4 = Experience; 5 = Planning; 6 = Delivery; 7 = Managerial response; 8 = Employee response; 9 = Resources; 10 = Differential effects and population characteristics (see table 2 for more details).