Integration of employees with health impairments in manufacturing environments In a three years lasting project (Mai 2012 until March 2015) with a large German industrial concern we are evaluating the current integration processes for workers health impairments in the manufacturing departments. Our study follows a longitudinal quasi-experimental design. We use multiple data sources: group interviews, online surveys, and objective HR data. The main goal of this project is to develop concrete recommendations to improve the current integration processes. Situation The demographic change is leading to a massive increase in the mean age of the population in many industrialized countries. This results in serious challenges for organizations. Since an increasing age on average leads to an increase in health restrictions, especially of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system, companies in industries which have high physical work demands, such as the manufacturing sector, are especially challenged. The number of employees with disabilities and health restrictions is on the rise, a situation that is true for our project partner as well. Therefore, an increasing amount of production workers will not be able to achieve the mandatory standard performance any longer. In addition, their flexibility in the work group concerning job rotation will be limited. Due to these tendencies our project partner has developed a systematic approach to assess the working capacity of people with health restrictions in the manufacturing department in a transparent and standardized way. The main goal is to identify and realize specific arrangements (i.e. job accommodations) that allow the person to achieve the mandatory standard performance again. Research questions and objectives The center of this project is the evaluation and refinement of the current integration processes. These adjustments are supposed to be implemented within the existing continuous improvement process. By improving the integration of workers as well as adapting the team and leadership structures, we aim to achieve a higher job satisfaction on the one hand, and a higher overall profitability on the other hand. Study design The evaluation follows a quasi-experimental design with three data collections: one qualitative set of focus-group interviews as well as two quantitative online surveys for all production workers. The qualitative data collection in the first stage of the project is supposed to generate an overall understanding of the process. Furthermore it serves as a foundation to identify relevant topics for the questionnaires. The two online surveys follow with an interval of one year each. Interventions such as leadership development seminars, etc. will follow the first survey. The second survey will serve as a post-measure. The use of a control group will allow us to make conclusions about the causal effects of our interventions. Various data sources (e.g., employee survey, objective HR data, and objective manufacturing data) will be used to evaluate our results. Current state and selected publications 27 focus-group interviews were conducted in November 2012. We included members of all relevant workgroups (i.e. employees with health restrictions, coworkers, supervisors, top-managers, etc.). The results served as a guideline to design the first employee survey. This survey was delivered to all production workers at one production site in July 2013. First analyses reveal significant differences between employee perspectives and departments regarding multiple constructs such as job satisfaction and leadership. These differences (such as age diversity or disability diversity measures) also result in dissimilar objective data such as innovations or error rates. Based on these findings, we are currently providing trainings to supervisors in a randomized control group design. Boehm, S. A. (2014). Flexible Arbeitsplatzanpassungen als Voraussetzung für die berufliche Inklusion von Menschen mit Behinderung – Die Rolle von Personalabteilungen, Führungskräften und Kollegen. Zeitschrift Führung + Organisation (ZFO), 83(4), 235-241. Böhm, S. A, Baumgärtner, M. K, & Dwertmann, D. J. G. (2013). Berufliche Inklusion von Menschen mit Behinderung – Best Practices aus dem ersten Arbeitsmarkt. Heidelberg: Springer. Project partners Large German industrial concern Project team Stephan Böhm, Kirill Bourovoi, David Dwertmann, Miriam Baumgärtner, Lisa Nishii (Cornell University).