All over the world, farmers have to face up to increasing uncertainties (market and climate). They have to adapt their activity to the new contexts and challenges of livestock farming (producing more and better, and satisfying the expectations of society, consumers, and of downstream operators), while at the same time responding to their own expectations in terms of income, quality of life, and working conditions. In order to understand these changes and consider the future, work organization must be taken into account. The Work Assessment Method, developed by French livestock researchers, provides a framework able to capture work organization, taking into account the specifics of the livestock activity. Based on a comparative analysis of nine case studies that used the Work Assessment Method from six contrasted countries, this review (1) gives generic ideas on work organization indicators and their variation; (2) identifies four generic patterns of work organization which are not linked to the local context but marked by the workforce composition; (3) demonstrates that the relevance of the Work Assessment Method to tackle work issues, and its capacities to be adapted to a variety of livestock farming contexts throughout the world, is linked to the properties of its framework, which was developed by combining different disciplinary approaches; (4) highlights the principal limits of the method: lack of coordination with other dimensions of work (labor productivity; sense of the job), and limited characterization of the work organization flexibility; and (5) proposes some possibilities of change to better respond to the diversity of work situations and questions about work, and take better into account the evolutions of livestock farming systems.
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Article selected from proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Work in Agriculture, which was held in November 2016 at the State University of Maringá (UEM), Brazil.
© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018