A Pull System for Delegating Knowledge Work

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



A pull system using kanban is commonly used in manufacturing settings to efficiently control the flow of goods. Its success in service operations is limited to processes similar to production lines when the output is repetitive. This paper examined how well a pull system for delegating non-repetitive output performed in an experimental setting of knowledge work, similar to what is found in many services. Results indicated that performance, as measured by completion time for cognitive tasks, improved under a pull as opposed to a push system of delegation. The improvement occurred with no change in output quality, stress levels, or satisfaction.