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Three decades of workload control research: a systematic review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Production Research
Issue number23
Volume49
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)6905-6935
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The workload control (WLC) concept has received much attention in the past three decades; however, a comprehensive literature review has not been presented. In response, this article provides a systematic review of the conceptual, analytical, empirical and simulation-based WLC literature. It explores the evolution of WLC research, determines the current state-of-the-art and identifies key areas for further study. The research finds that the field has evolved substantially. Early research focused on theoretical development and experimental testing of order release strategies; order release was then integrated with other planning stages, e.g., the customer enquiry stage, making the concept more suitable for customised manufacturing and leading to a comprehensive concept which combines input and output control effectively; recent attention has focused on implementing the resulting concept in practice and refining theory. While WLC is well placed to meet the needs of producers of customised products, future research should include: conducting further action research into how WLC can be effectively implemented in practice; studying human factors that affect WLC; and feeding back empirical findings to simulation-based WLC research to improve the applicability of WLC theory to real-life job shops.