Behavioral Approach of Job Design
Behavioral ApproachThis approach considers behavioral factors in job design. Employee needs in terms of autonomy, variety, task identify, task significance, and feedback are considered. The methods are:
a) Job Enrichment: It adds new sources of satisfaction to jobs. Jobs are made challenging and meaningful by increasing responsibilities are added to the job, usually with less supervision and more self-evaluation. workers get greater autonomy in planning and controlling their performance. It is also known as "vertical loading" of job. The steps in job environment are
- Select jobs, which are suitable for enrichment; identify changes needed.
- Change contents of the job to provide autonomy, control responsibility, achievement, and advancement.
- Train and guide employees.
- Integrate enriched jobs into work schedule.
|- It leads to increased motivation and job satisfaction.|
- It satisfies higher level needs of the employees; job outcomes improve; job status increases.
- It stimulates improvements in other areas of the organization.
- It empowers employees; provides feedback to correct performances.
- It leads to reduce turnover and lower absenteeism; employee development is facilitated.
|- Unions may resist job enrichment; employees may refuse to accept enriched jobs with new responsibilities. |
- The costs of design and implementation are high for job enrichment; training costs can be high.
- It focuses on the job only and ignores other variables that contribute to quality of work life (QWL).
- Managers may be unwilling to delegate authority; supportive work environment may be lacking.
- Job enrichment is only a tool; it is not universally applicable, it is situation specific.
b) Autonomous Teams (Self-directed Team): Autonomous teams are a group of employees with widely defined jobs and responsibilities to achieve specific goal. Team members are: highly committed; decide collectively; interact continuously; work closely, determine work assignments and working methods and practice self-supervision.
|- Autonomous teams generally achieve high productivity and quality.|
- Supervision costs are reduced.
- Team spirit with employee empowerment is realized.
- Greater involvement of employees in decision making; greater employees commitment.
|- Employees, managers and unions resist autonomous teams.|
- Cooperation among team members may be difficult.
- Efficiency of the team may be low.
c) Modified Works Schedules: The work schedule is modified. The techniques can be
- Shorter work week; worker work ten hours each day for four days. It provides mere leisure to employees. Turnover and reduced absenteeism.
- Flexible time
- Job sharing
Job design (also referred to as work design or task design) is a core function of human resource management and it is related to the specification of contents, methods and relationship of jobs in order to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder or the employee. Its principles are geared towards how the nature of a person's job affects their attitudes and behavior at work, particularly relating to characteristics such as skill variety and autonomy. The aim of a job design is to improve job satisfaction, to improve through-put, to improve quality and to reduce employee problems (e.g., grievances, absenteeism).
Job characteristic theory
See also: Job characteristic theory
The job characteristic theory proposed by Hackman & Oldham (1976) stated that work should be designed to have five core job characteristics, which engender three critical psychological states in individuals—experiencing meaning, feeling responsible for outcomes, and understanding the results of their efforts. In turn, these psychological states were proposed to enhance employees’ intrinsic motivation, job satisfaction, quality of work and performance, while reducing turnover.
Core job dimensions
- Skill variety — This refers to the range of skills and activities necessary to complete the job. The more a person is required to use a wide variety of skills, the more satisfying the job is likely to be.
- Task identity — This dimension measures the degree to which the job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work. Employees who are involved in an activity from start to finish are usually more satisfied.
- Task significance — This looks at the impact and influence of a job. Jobs are more satisfying if people believe that they make a difference, and are adding real value to colleagues, the organization, or the larger community.
- Autonomy — This describes the amount of individual choice and discretion involved in a job. More autonomy leads to more satisfaction. For instance, a job is likely to be more satisfying if people are involved in making decisions, instead of simply being told what to do.
- Feedback — This dimension measures the amount of information an employee receives about his or her performance, and the extent to which he or she can see the impact of the work. The more people are told about their performance, the more interested they will be in doing a good job. So, sharing production figures, customer satisfaction scores etc. can increase the feedback levels.
Critical psychological states
The five core job dimensions listed above result in three different psychological states.
- Experienced meaningfulness of the work: The extent to which people believe that their job is meaningful, and that their work is valued and appreciated (comes from core dimensions 1-3).
- Experienced responsibility for the outcomes of work: The extent to which people feel accountable for the results of their work, and for the outcomes they have produced (comes from core dimension 4).
- Knowledge of the actual results of the work activity: The extent to which people know how well they are doing (comes from core dimension 5).
Techniques of job design
See also: Job rotation
Job rotation is a job design method which is able to enhance motivation, develop workers' outlook, increase productivity, improve the organization's performance on various levels by its multi-skilled workers, and provides new opportunities to improve the attitude, thought, capabilities and skills of workers. Job rotation is also process by which employees laterally mobilize and serve their tasks in different organizational levels; when an individual experiences different posts and responsibilities in an organization, ability increases to evaluate his capabilities in the organization.
See also: Job enlargement
Hulin and Blood (1968) define Job enlargement as the process of allowing individual workers to determine their own pace (within limits), to serve as their own inspectors by giving them responsibility for quality control, to repair their own mistakes, to be responsible for their own machine set-up and repair, and to attain choice of method. Frederick Herzberg referred to the addition of interrelated tasks as 'horizontal job loading'.
See also: Job enrichment
Job enrichment increases the employees’ autonomy over the planning and execution of their own work. Job enrichment has the same motivational advantages of job enlargement, however it has the added benefit of granting workers autonomy. Frederick Herzberg viewed job enrichment as 'vertical job loading' because it also includes tasks formerly performed by someone at a higher level where planning and control are involved.
See also: Scientific management
Under scientific management people would be directed by reason and the problems of industrial unrest would be appropriately (i.e., scientifically) addressed. This philosophy is oriented toward the maximum gains possible to employees. Managers would guarantee that their subordinates would have access to the maximum of economic gains by means of rationalized processes. Organizations were portrayed as rationalized sites, designed and managed according to a rule of rationality imported from the world of technique.
Human Relations School
See also: Human relations movement
The Human Relations School takes the view that businesses are social systems in which psychological and emotional factors have a significant influence on productivity. The common elements in human relations theory are the beliefs that
- Performance can be improved by good human relations
- Managers should consult employees in matters that affect staff
- Leaders should be democratic rather than authoritarian
- Employees are motivated by social and psychological rewards and are not just "economic animals"
- The work group plays an important part in influencing performance
See also: Sociotechnical systems
Socio-technical systems aims on jointly optimizing the operation of the social and technical system; the good or service would then be efficiently produced and psychological needs of the workers fulfilled. Embedded in Socio-technical Systems are motivational assumptions, such as intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
Work reform states about the workplace relation and the changes made which are more suitable to management and employee to encourage increased workforce participation.
Motivational work design
The psychological literature on employee motivation contains considerable evidence that job design can influence satisfaction, motivation and job performance. It influences them primarily because it affects the relationship between the employee's expectancy that increased performance will lead to rewards and the preference of different rewards for the individual.
Hackman and Oldman developed the theory that a workplace can be redesigned to greater improve their core job characteristics. Their overall concept consists of:
- Making larger work units by combining smaller, more specialized tasks.
- Mandating worker(s) to be responsible via having direct contact with clients.
- Having employee evaluations done frequently in order to provide feedback for learning.
- Allowing workers to be responsible for their job by giving them authority and control.
A similar theory was also mentioned earlier by Frederick Herzberg. Herzberg theory consist of a Two Factor Theory:
- Hygiene Factors
- Motivational Factors
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- ^Herzberg, F. (1968). One more time: How do you motivate employees. Boston: Harvard Business Review. pp. 46–57.
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