Development and evaluation of cross-training policies for manufacturing teams

J.A.C. Bokhorst*, J. Slomp, E. Molleman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the problem of developing and evaluating cross-training policies for manufacturing teams from a Human Resource Management (HRM) and Operations Management (OM) viewpoint. A cross-training policy can be regarded as a set of rules to determine the distribution of workers' skills. The specific way in which workers and machines are connected determines the agility of the workforce. In this article, we develop an integer goal programming model to support a consequent application of alternative cross-training policies. A simulation study is performed to assess the performance of the resulting cross-training configurations within three routing structures: a parallel structure, a serial structure, and a job shop structure. Results indicate that within all routing structures, the focus of cross-training policies depends on whether a HRM or an OM viewpoint is considered. Within the parallel and the serial structures, however, HRM and OM goals are compatible and can be integrated within a single cross-training policy. Within the job shop structure, the integration of both OM and HRM goals within one cross-training policy is more difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-984
Number of pages16
JournalIIE Transactions
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2004



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