I'm a week behind on my reading of the Economist so I've just caught up with the piece in the July 14th – 20th issue on the way BMW builds flexibility into its shift patterns 'for example extending shifts by 30 minutes, adding extra ones …' and making 'liberal use' of temporary workers. (See: Back above the bar again.
Both points suggest organization design questions. For example: What impact does adding in extra shifts have on HR systems (like payroll and productivity). How do managers make the decision to put in an extra shift and what are the processes for doing so?
Managing temporary (and contract) workers is another thorny design issue. The answers to such questions on whether they should be included in training events, subsidised meals or other things that payroll staff get all affect motivation, productivity, and performance (of both the temporary workers and the permanent workers).