Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Publications (10 of 15) Show all publications
Jackson, J. A., Mathiassen, S. E., Rydström, K. & Johansson, K. (2024). Protocol for an observational study of working conditions and musculoskeletal health in Swedish online retail warehousing from the perspective of sex/gender and place of birth. PLOS ONE, 19(2), Article ID e0297569.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protocol for an observational study of working conditions and musculoskeletal health in Swedish online retail warehousing from the perspective of sex/gender and place of birth
2024 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 19, no 2, article id e0297569Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

European and International sustainable development agendas aim to reduce inequalities in working conditions and work-related health, yet disparate occupational health outcomes are evident between both men and women and domestic- and foreign-born workers. In Sweden, major growth in online retail warehousing has increased occupational opportunities for foreign-born workers. The rapid change has left research lagging on working conditions, i.e., employment conditions, facility design, work organisation, physical and psychosocial work environment conditions, and their effects on worker health. Further, no known studies have considered patterns of inequality related to these factors. The overall aim of this study is to describe working conditions and musculoskeletal health in online retail warehousing, determine the extent to which differences exist related to sex/gender and place of birth (as a proxy for race/ethnicity), and examine factors at the organisational and individual levels to understand why any differences exist. Three online retail warehouses, each employing 50–150 operations workers performing receiving, order picking, order packing and dispatching tasks will be recruited. Warehouses will, to the extent possible, differ in their extent of digital technology use. Employment conditions, facility design (including digital tool use), work organisation, physical and psychosocial work environment conditions and worker health will be assessed by survey, interview and technical measurements. Analysis of quantitative data stratified by sex and place of birth will consider the extent to which inequalities exist. Focus group interviews with operations employees and in-depth interviews with managers, union and health and safety representatives will be conducted to assess how employee working conditions and musculoskeletal health are related to inequality regimes of sex/gender and/or race/ethnicity in organisational processes and practices in online retail warehousing. The study is pre-registered with the Open Science Framework. This study will describe working conditions and health in online retail warehouse workers and consider the extent to which patterns of inequality exist based on sex/gender and place of birth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2024
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-104383 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0297569 (DOI)38394162 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85185862397 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2019-01051
Note

Validerad;2024;Nivå 2;2024-04-22 (signyg);

Full text license: CC BY

Available from: 2024-02-27 Created: 2024-02-27 Last updated: 2024-04-24Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K. (2024). Unpacking Online Retailing: The Organization of Warehouse Work and Inequality. (Doctoral dissertation). Luleå: Luleå University of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unpacking Online Retailing: The Organization of Warehouse Work and Inequality
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
E-handelns olika lager : Organiseringen av arbete och ojämlikhet
Abstract [en]

This dissertation studies the organization of warehouse work and inequality in Swedish online retailing. Online retailing relocates the work of providing service to individual customers, usually performed by frontline workers in retail stores, to warehouses backstage. In line with the on-demand characteristics of online retail warehousing, where a fast and smooth goods handling process becomes a competitive advantage for the companies, the manual warehouse work has been shown to be associated with routinization, and a high work tempo and monotony for workers performing it. Little is known about these issues in Sweden. Union reports and news media have shown that online retail warehousing involves a generally poor work environment and low wages. Research-based findings from other geographical contexts explain that the workforce mainly consists of those who cannot find a job elsewhere and whose subordinated position limits their possibilities for resistance against the working conditions. Herein, inequality appears. Inequality is understood in the dissertation as a consequence of the practices that organize the work, which tend to be shaped by gendered and racialized processes. The inequality as such often, but not always, take the form of class relations (Acker 2006).

 

Based on an ethnographic study of five online retail warehouses in Sweden – Homeware, Electronic, Recreational, Pharmacy, and Grocery – the dissertation aims to explore and understand how practices and processes to organize online retail warehouse work relate to inequality, and it aims to contribute with knowledge in this regard. As part of this, the dissertation also aims to make visible the work, workplaces, and workers that online retail warehousing brings about. The methods and materials include interviews with managers, workers, and union and health and safety representatives (n=30); focus groups with workers and pharmacists (n=15 groups, a total of 49 participants); and ethnographic observations (a total of eleven weeks). The dissertation also comprises material from a systematic literature review of 21 articles focused on warehouse working conditions and inequality, and employment data from Statistics Sweden divided into occupations groupings. My ambitions with the dissertation have been empirical – in how I have worked to contribute with knowledge about online retail warehousing, in particular in with regards to the Swedish context – and theoretical – in how I have strived to contribute with perspectives on how we can analytically approach inequality.

 

The results show that the warehouse work was organized in relation to the ‘on-demand’ element of online retailing, wherein flexibility becomes a necessity for online retail warehouses in the strive to fulfil the (over time fluctuating levels of) customer orders on time. While Homeware, Electronic, Recreational, Pharmacy, and Grocery all strived for profit by making warehouse workers provide a fast and satisfactory service for customers, the differences between them with regards to how the warehouse work was organized meant that there were variations in the shape and the degree of the inequality (cf. Acker 2006). This is exemplified in the dissertation with the practices and processes of the division of work tasks, the monitoring of workers’ performance through productivity data, and a Swedish language policy. In addition to inequality expressed in gendered and racialized class relations between managers and warehouses workers, and other groups of employees, the dissertation also found inequality produced by class and shaped by gender and race/ethnicity between groups of warehouse workers. The variations of the inequality seemed to be associated with the differences in the size and spatiality of the online retail warehouses, the size of the workforce, and the extent of technology applied in the goods handling process. Furthermore, the dissertation suggests that there are three analytical points of entry to from where to approach inequality – the workplace level, the field of work level and the worker level – which together help us understand its manifoldness, how the severity of inequality varies and the lived and embodied realities of it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2024
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
Work organization, gender, race/ethnicity, warehousing, e-commerce
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105070 (URN)978-91-8048-530-2 (ISBN)978-91-8048-531-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-06-14, A109, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-12 Created: 2024-04-12 Last updated: 2024-05-24Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K., Jackson, J., Johansson, K. & Mathiassen, S. E. (2023). A Systematic Review of Work Organization, Work Environment, and Employment Conditions in Warehousing in Relation to Gender and Race/Ethnicity. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 67(4), 430-447
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Systematic Review of Work Organization, Work Environment, and Employment Conditions in Warehousing in Relation to Gender and Race/Ethnicity
2023 (English)In: Annals of Work Exposures and Health, ISSN 2398-7308, Vol. 67, no 4, p. 430-447Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives

Studies in the goods supply chain in areas outside of warehousing show evidence of gender and racial/ethnic inequalities in working conditions (i.e. in work organization, work environment, and employment conditions). This review aimed to identify, summarize, and discuss research focused on inequality in warehousing and its effects on warehouse working conditions. In the review, racial/ethnic inequality includes inequality related to country of birth and (im)migration status.

Methods

We performed a systematic search in the Scopus and Web of Science databases to identify warehouse studies that addressed working conditions and (in)equality at a workplace level. Screening of records was performed using the Rayyan systematic review tool. Risk of bias was assessed according to established methods and checklists.

Results

Database searches yielded 4910 articles. After title-abstract-keyword and full-text screenings, 21 articles were included. Results showed inequality based on gender and race/ethnicity in both work organization (different tasks were performed by different groups of employees), work environment conditions (physical and psychosocial aspects differed), and employment conditions (disparate employment types and incomes between groups of employees). Health differences, as a possible result of unequal working conditions, were evident between different racial/ethnic groups of employees. A hierarchy that included both gender and race/ethnicity was found, with (im)migrant and racialized women positioned at the bottom.

Conclusions

We found evidence that gender and race/ethnicity influenced work organization, work environment conditions, and employment conditions. Evidence was found for an intersection between gender and race/ethnicity. To improve working conditions, and subsequently occupational health, we encourage researchers to simultaneously consider gender and race/ethnicity factors at work, and to consider both why inequality is present and how it impacts working conditions in future studies of warehousing, particularly in online retailing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2023
Keywords
distribution center, fulfillment center, inequality regimes, occupational health, working conditions
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-95453 (URN)10.1093/annweh/wxac098 (DOI)000919276800001 ()36715660 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85160681304 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2019-01051
Note

Validerad;2023;Nivå 2;2023-06-30 (joosat);

Licens fulltext: CC BY License

Available from: 2023-01-31 Created: 2023-01-31 Last updated: 2024-04-12Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K., Johansson, K. & Sardiello, T. (2023). Inequality in the warehouse? A mixed-methods study of working conditions in Swedish online retailing. In: : . Paper presented at 1st Malmö Work Science Meeting, September 29, 2023, Malmö, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inequality in the warehouse? A mixed-methods study of working conditions in Swedish online retailing
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-101596 (URN)
Conference
1st Malmö Work Science Meeting, September 29, 2023, Malmö, Sweden
Available from: 2023-10-09 Created: 2023-10-09 Last updated: 2024-03-27Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K., Johansson, K., Sardiello, T., Mathiassen, S. E., Jackson, J., Zetterberg, C. & Engqvist, M. (2023). Ojämlikhet på e-handelns lager?: Några kvalitativa resultat från ett pågående tvärvetenskapligt forskningsprojekt . In: Program och abstrakt FALF 2023: Arbetets gränser. Paper presented at FALF 2023, Forum för arbetslivsforskning, Juni 14–16, 2023 Helsingborg, Sweden (pp. 80-81).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ojämlikhet på e-handelns lager?: Några kvalitativa resultat från ett pågående tvärvetenskapligt forskningsprojekt 
Show others...
2023 (Swedish)In: Program och abstrakt FALF 2023: Arbetets gränser, 2023, p. 80-81Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

För snart 20 år sedan publicerades artikeln ’Inequality in the Toy Store’ (Williams 2004) med resultat från en studie i detaljhandelns butiker. Williams (2004) konstaterade att arbetsplatsernas hierarkier var könade och rasifierade, med synliga (o)jämlikhetsmönster organiseringen av arbete och arbetare (jfr Van Oort, 2019). Sedan dess har handelsarbetets gränser förskjutits – det direkta servicearbete som görs av handelsanställda i butik har kompletterats med indirekt servicearbete utfört av e-handelsanställda på lager. Studier i lagermiljö har visar på en könad och rasifierad ojämlikhet mellan anställda, både vad gäller anställningsvillkor, arbetsmiljö och vilken typ av arbetsuppgifter anställda tilldelas (Rydström m.fl., 2023). I en svensk kontext har Handelsanställdas förbund belyst att repetitiva och monotona arbetsmoment och stor personalomsättning påverkar e-handelsanställdas hälsa negativt, och kvinnor rapporterar en generellt sämre hälsa än män (Rosenström 2016). 

Presentationen bygger på en tvärvetenskaplig studie (2020–2023) om (o)jämlikhet, arbetsvillkor och arbetsmiljö i e-handeln. Under hösten 2022 undersöktes tre e-handelslager genom tekniska mätningar av arbetsbelastningen, enkätstudier och fokusgruppsintervjuer med anställda, enskilda intervjuer med chefer och fackliga representanter samt arbetsplatsbesök och observationer. Presentationen fokuserar primärt på materialet från de kvalitativa delarna av studien, vilket kodats och analyserats med hjälp av Acker’s (2006) teori om ojämlikhetsregimer. 

Preliminära resultat visar på både likheter och skillnader mellan de tre e-handelslagrens (o)jämlikhetsmönster och anställdas upplevelser av sin arbetssituation. E-handelslagren skiljer sig åt i storlek och typen av varor som hanteras, med olika nivåer av automation i plock- och packarbetet. Gemensamt är att ojämlikhetsregimer – det vill säga, könade och rasifierade hierarkiska klassrelationer (Acker 2006) – återfinns på e-handelsföretagen och reproducerar ojämlika arbetsvillkor för kvinnor och män, svenskfödda och utrikesfödda som arbetar på lagergolvet. 

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-98563 (URN)
Conference
FALF 2023, Forum för arbetslivsforskning, Juni 14–16, 2023 Helsingborg, Sweden
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2023-06-19 Created: 2023-06-19 Last updated: 2024-03-27Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K. (2022). Binära konstruktioner av kön och arbete på e-handelslager. In: Book of abstracts: . Paper presented at Femte nationella konferensen för genusforskning i Sverige (G22). Att forma en hoppfull framtid i osäkra tider: genusforskningens utmaningar och möjligheter. Karlstad, Sverige, 26-28 oktober 2022. Karlstad: Karlstads universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Binära konstruktioner av kön och arbete på e-handelslager
2022 (Swedish)In: Book of abstracts, Karlstad: Karlstads universitet , 2022Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

E-handeln utgör en växande del av handeln i stort (Rosenström et al. 2021) och bidrar sannolikt till att förändra både utformning av och uppfattningar om arbete inom handelssektorn. Butiksarbete är relativt välstuderat utifrån ett genusperspektiv; vi vet att könade processer och praktiker spelar en roll för hur det organiseras och upplevs (Johansson 2016; Johansson och Lundgren 2015; Pettinger 2005; Williams 2004). På liknande sett har studier visat på könade strukturer inom partihandeln och på andra typer av lager, bland annat genom föreställningar om att särskilda arbetsuppgifter är mer fysiskt krävande än andra och uppfattningar om att män skulle vara mer lämpade för dessa (Allison et al. 2018; Cockburn 1985; Collinson 1987; Gruchmann et al 2021; Lindeman & Boyer 2019; Loewen 2018). Den arbetsfokuserade genusforskningen inom e-handeln är mer begränsad (jfr Gutelius 2016; Loewen 2018), inte minst i en svensk kontext (jfr Rosenström 2016). Den här presentationen baseras på deltagande observationer på två e-handelslager och intervjuer med anställda genomförda under 2021. Med hjälp av empiriska exempel argumenterar jag för att arbetet på lagren formas i relation till binära idéer om kön, och visar på hur kvinnor konstrueras som den ideala arbetaren för plock- och packuppgifter. Härigenom syftar presentationen till att visa på genusforskningens möjligheter att bidra med kritisk kunskap om e-handeln, som på sikt kan stärka anställdas arbetssituation och villkor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2022
National Category
Gender Studies Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-95304 (URN)
Conference
Femte nationella konferensen för genusforskning i Sverige (G22). Att forma en hoppfull framtid i osäkra tider: genusforskningens utmaningar och möjligheter. Karlstad, Sverige, 26-28 oktober 2022
Available from: 2023-01-17 Created: 2023-01-17 Last updated: 2023-01-17Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K. (2022). ”Inte alla män” men ”duktiga flickor”: könade arbetsförhållanden på e-handelslager. In: Book of abstracts FALF 2022: Framtidens arbete-arbetets framtid. Paper presented at Forum för arbetslivsforskning (FALF 2022), Kiruna, Sweden, June 13-15, 2022 (pp. 59-60). Luleå University of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>”Inte alla män” men ”duktiga flickor”: könade arbetsförhållanden på e-handelslager
2022 (Swedish)In: Book of abstracts FALF 2022: Framtidens arbete-arbetets framtid, Luleå University of Technology, 2022, p. 59-60Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå University of Technology, 2022
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-92335 (URN)
Conference
Forum för arbetslivsforskning (FALF 2022), Kiruna, Sweden, June 13-15, 2022
Available from: 2022-07-29 Created: 2022-07-29 Last updated: 2023-01-13Bibliographically approved
Johansson, K., Berglund, L., Engqvist Persson, M. & Rydström, K. (2022). (O)möjligt arbetsmiljöarbete i detaljhandelns slimmade organisationer. Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, 28(3-4), 28-46
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(O)möjligt arbetsmiljöarbete i detaljhandelns slimmade organisationer
2022 (Swedish)In: Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, ISSN 1400-9692, E-ISSN 2002-343X, Vol. 28, no 3-4, p. 28-46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Med hjälp av intervjuer med regionala skyddsombud visar artikeln hur arbetsmiljöproblem relaterade till slimmade organisationer formar det systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete i detaljhandeln. Att knappa resurser både skapar de problem som behöver lösas och kringskär möjligheterna till aktiva åtgärder skapar ett moment 22 för det organisatoriska arbetsmiljöarbetet och för främjandet av hälsosamma arbetsplatser i detaljhandeln.

Abstract [en]

Drawing on interviews with regional safety representatives, the article shows how work environment problems related to lean organizations conditions systematic work environment management in the retail sector. As limited resource creates the problem that need to be solved, and restains the possiblities of actions, suggest a catch 22 for the possiblities of promoting healthy workplaces in the retail trade.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstads universitet, 2022
Keywords
organisational work environment, systematic work environment management, safety representatives, retail trade, healthy workplaces, organisatorisk arbetsmiljö, systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete, skyddsom-bud, detaljhandeln, hälsosamt arbetsliv
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-92664 (URN)
Note

Validerad;2023;Nivå 1;2023-08-22 (hanlid)

Available from: 2022-08-25 Created: 2022-08-25 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K. & Johansson, K. (2021). Vad händer med ojämlikhetsmönstren när handelsarbetet förflyttas från butiks- till lagermiljö?. In: Konferensbok FALF 14–16 juni 2021: . Paper presented at FALF 2021, digital, juni 14-16, 2021 (pp. 114-115). Mälardalens högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vad händer med ojämlikhetsmönstren när handelsarbetet förflyttas från butiks- till lagermiljö?
2021 (Swedish)In: Konferensbok FALF 14–16 juni 2021, Mälardalens högskola , 2021, p. 114-115Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mälardalens högskola, 2021
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-86146 (URN)
Conference
FALF 2021, digital, juni 14-16, 2021
Available from: 2021-06-29 Created: 2021-06-29 Last updated: 2021-08-19Bibliographically approved
Rydström, K. (2020). Degendering Menstruation: Making Trans Menstruators Matter. In: Chris Bobel, Inga T. Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, Tomi-Ann Roberts (Ed.), The Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies: (pp. 945-959). Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Degendering Menstruation: Making Trans Menstruators Matter
2020 (English)In: The Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies / [ed] Chris Bobel, Inga T. Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, p. 945-959Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Rydström works within a post-constructionist framework to critically explore the nature of menstruation, which many perceive to be a strictly female bodily function despite many scholars’ recognition that menstruators are of various gender identities. In challenging menstruation as a cisnormative phenomenon, the author explores various menstrual experiences among trans people and argues that cis and trans menstruators come to matter differently. More specifically, menstrual activism, public bathrooms, menstrual products, and the healthcare sector are problematized as areas wherein trans menstruators are Othered. Finally, Rydström calls for a recognition of the multiplicity of menstrual experiences as they exist and a degendering of menstruation as phenomena.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2020
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-81990 (URN)10.1007/978-981-15-0614-7_68 (DOI)2-s2.0-85091603838 (Scopus ID)
Note

ISBN för värdpublikation: 978-981-15-0613-0, 978-981-15-0614-7

Available from: 2020-12-15 Created: 2020-12-15 Last updated: 2023-10-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4089-9159

Search in DiVA

Show all publications