Approaches to Job Design
A- Traditional Approach- The organisation allocates the duties and responsibilities consistent with the common practices and traditions.
B- Scientific Management Approach- Also called Engineering approach, developed by FW Taylor. Scientific management approach offers the following principles for designing the jobs :
- Task Fragmentation - breaking tasks into small components in order to improve efficiency.
- Optimisation - developing the best method to do the task.
- Standardisation - Standardise the method using time and motion studies.
- Specialisation - Repeated performance of the work leads to specialisation.
- Training - The selected workers should be given proper training to ensure efficiency.
- Responsibility - Each worker should be made responsible for the performance of their task.
- Monetary Rewards - Economic incentives should be used to reward efficient performances.
These principles end to make the job holders experts in their jobs which leads to higher productivity and low costs.
C- Human Relations Approach
- Based upon the famous Hawthorne studies conducted during 1924-1933.
- This approach concerned itself with the impact of employees’ psychological and social needs on productivity.
- Emphasis was less on technical aspects of the job and more on human needs and relations.
D- Job Characteristics Approach
- Based on the findings of Elton Mayo, Fredrick Herzberg and other human relations approach.
- This approach also stresses on human social and psychological factors.
The following central dimensions of the job help in generating a positive psychological state :
- Skill Variety - The degree to which the job requires the worker to employ his different skills to efficiently complete the job.
- Task identity - The degree to which the job requires completion of an identifiable part of work.
- Task Significance - The degree to which the job has an impact on both the work and lives of others who are present both inside and outside the organisation.
- Autonomy - The degree of independence, freedom and discretion provided by the job to the individual.
- Feedback - The degree to which the job provides the individual with clear information about job performance and outcomes.
E- Socio-Technical Systems approach
- Takes into consideration both the social and technical aspects of the job.
- Redesigning jobs according to this method requires a constant combined effort of employees, supervisors and trade union representatives in analysing significant job operations.
- Job design, according to this approach, involves a systems view of the entire job together with a social and psychological view of the job.
- The entire job is broken down or divided into small subparts.
- This is done so that the workers can do these jobs without much-specialised training.
- Through job simplification, smaller parts of the job can be identified and can be completed simultaneously, thereby saving a lot of time.
- Motion and time studies are generally used for job simplification.
- Shifting an employee from one job to another job within a working group, so that there is some variety in the jobs performed and a relief from the boredom of routine jobs.
- The transfer of job through job rotation is to shift to another job of the same level and status.
- Herzberg characterised Job rotation as, from one zero to another zero.
- It is a lateral or horizontal transfer.
- Job rotation occurs due to situational factors which means shifting an employee from one job to another to meet the needs of the work schedule.
- Process of increasing the scope of the job of a particular employee by adding more tasks into it.
- The additional tasks allotted to the employee do not require new skills or talents. They can be performed with a similar set of skills as before.
- Herzberg characterised Job Enlargement as simply adding a zero to zero.
- Enlargement is done on the horizontal level.
- This is not a satisfactory method of job design as it does not increase the depth of a job.
- Designing the job in a way that the worker gets a greater autonomy for planning and controlling his own performance.
- Job enrichment is a motivational technique as it emphasises the need of challenging and interesting work.
- Through job enrichment, an employee gains a feeling of higher status, influence and power.
- Job enrichment rearranges the parts of the job so that the workers have more variety, a higher amount of responsibility, autonomy in decision making, more exposure etc and also eliminates boring and dissatisfactory tasks.
Job Enlargement vs Job Enrichment
- Job enlargement involves a horizontal expansion of job while Job enrichment involves a vertical expansion of job.
- The purpose of Job enlargement is to remove repetitive jobs thereby reducing monotony while the purpose of job enrichment is to make the job more lively, challenging and satisfying.
- Job enlargement doesn’t call for a higher level of skill as it is the horizontal expansion of the job while Job enrichment requires development or utilisation of additional skill sets.
- Dejobbing refers to widening the responsibilities of the departments and personnel in a company and also encouraging the employees to go beyond their job description and not limit themselves within the scope of their job description.
- Dejobbing requires moving away from the traditional pyramid style organisation to a flatter organisational style. It also aims to make the organisation boundaryless to encourage employees to widen the scope of their job.
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