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Job And Work Design Notes

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Job and Work design 'Job & Work design' Parker & Wall 'organisations are becoming more proactive in considering alternative forms of job design to those traditionally taken for granted' Industrial Revolution
 Manufacture became increasingly important
 Smith - division of labour and specialisation
 Taylor - 'separation of the 'planning' of the work from the 'doing''
 Ford - flow line principle 'the core of Taylor's and Ford's thinking gradually became accepted as the norm' 'production strategies such as just-in-time can mean 'the application of Taylorism by workers themselves' 'now-accepted view that repetitive work is dissatisfying and, if taken to extremes, is not necessarily more productive' Job rotation 'operators moving at regular intervals to perform different tasks, either on an obligatory or a voluntary basis'
 Increase flexibility decrease boredom Horizontal job enlargement
 Lengthen work cycle and increase variety The Two Factor Theory (Herzberg)
 'determinants of job satisfaction were qualitatively different from those of job dissatisfaction'
 Job satisfaction (motivators):





Nature of work
 Job dissatisfaction (hygiene factors):

Company policy and administration


Interpersonal relations

Work conditions
 Simple and popular at first but didn't work well empirically The Sociotechnical Systems Approach:
 'distinction between social and technical subsystems in organisations'
 Methods of working should be minimally specified

'self directed work groups' Job enrichment:
 Increase employee responsibility
 'upgrading jobs to include extra skilled tasks' Autonomous work groups:
 Differ from job enrichment as at group level 'Job satisfaction and job performance are posited to be joint outcomes of job design in the job characteristics model, yet this does not account for findings that these outcomes are typically not empirically associated' 'stronger and more consistent relationships between job redesign and job satisfaction than there are between job redesign and productivity' 'most common assumption is that job redesign promotes better performance via a motivational mechanism' Kelly's 'twin track model' (1992)
 Job redesign might lead to increased job performance:




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Fewer employees perform a similar amount of work for higher individual earnings ('work intensification')

Job performance improves because employees perceiver closer links between effort, performance, and valued rewards

Job redesign increases goal setting - motivates better performance

Job redesign improves the efficiency of work methods - performance improvements without any change in motivation (e.g. decrease machine downtime) Link between job redesign and performance (Cummings & Blurnbergs 1987)
 Technical interdependence - if high - employees need to cooperate and share info on how to get job done 'work should be designed at the group level so that members can coordinate interrelated tasks'

'a mismatch between the form of work design and the degree of interdependence will lead to underperformance'
 Technical uncertainty - amount of information processing and decision making required when executing the task

If high, 'decision making rights should be devolved to operators'
 High environmental uncertainty needs flexibility - autonomous work designs

Increases job performance Interdisciplinary approach to work design:
 Motivational approach

'recommends job enlargement and enrichment to enhance the motivational nature of jobs' - should lead to enhanced job satisfaction, motivation, job performance and reduced absence
 Mechanistic approach

Scientific management - but less job satisfaction
 Biological approach

Minimising employee physical stress and strain increases motivation and job satisfaction
 Perceptual/motor approach

Ensuring that cognitive capabilities are not exceeded by the demands on the job. Decrease error? But decrease job satisfaction
 Ignoring productivity for a moment 'there is a clear human imperative to enrich work' - increase job satisfaction
 'definite swing towards enriching jobs' 'The Human Equation' Pfeffer 1998 Current 'conventional wisdom' about pay (Pfeffer suggests this would be very damaging):
 Cutting labour costs to decrease competitiveness
 People want to be differentially recognised for their performance and more collective pay schemes simply encourage free riding and shirking
 Calling compensation consulting firms 'pay practices and particularly changes premised on the three assumptions above, frequently get in the way of efforts to build productivity and profits' 'thinking about pay ought to be based on logic and evidence, not a belief or ideology' Pfeffer suggests:
 'pay rates are much less important than most managers think'
 Individual merit pay frequently ineffective
 Pay will not solve all productivity problems 'higher paid people who produce proportionately more can actually decrease labour costs' 'high correlation between hourly labour rates and labour productivity'

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