Challenges and trends in the allocation of the workforce in manufacturing shop floors

Mozafar Saadat*, Melissa C.L. Tan, Mohammad Owliya, Guiovanni Jules

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a critical and focused review of definitions, challenges and developments of the workforce allocation system in manufacturing shop floors with a particular emphasis on response to changes and disturbances. The continuously changing requirements in production environments have been the driving force behind several stages of evolution experienced by management of workforce allocation. The paper includes an in-depth examination of the phenomena of changes and disturbances in the production shop floor. This is followed by an assessment of the readiness of workforce allocation systems to respond to such events with respect to both workforce perception and system architecture. Recent developments of the workforce allocation models suggest that the use of intelligent and distributed systems and techniques offer solutions that are responsive, flexible, and multi-criteria. To this end, an overview of a recent study in the application of the principles of holonic manufacturing systems, as an example of intelligent system approach to develop a flexible workforce allocation model, is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1036
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Changes and disturbances
  • Holonic manufacturing system
  • Workforce allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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