In any group of workers performing apparently identical tasks considerable differences in worker performance are observed. These differences increase with the cognitive complexity of the task and persist even when considerable experience in the job has been accumulated. The differences between workers can have a considerable impact on the realized performance of the production system and often result in a major loss in system productivity. This paper demonstrates why this productivity loss occurs in traditional system designs. Alternative system designs that alleviate the loss will be described and models of their performance developed. The paper will conclude with some remarks on the practicality and implementability of the alternative systems. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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