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Book part
Publication date: 21 April 2010

Michael Gibbs, Alec Levenson and Cindy Zoghi

In this chapter we study job design. Do organizations plan precisely how the job is to be done ex ante, or ask workers to determine the process as they go? We first model…

Abstract

In this chapter we study job design. Do organizations plan precisely how the job is to be done ex ante, or ask workers to determine the process as they go? We first model this decision and predict complementarity among these following job attributes: multitasking, discretion, skills, and interdependence of tasks. We argue that characteristics of the firm and industry (e.g., product and technology, organizational change) can explain observed patterns and trends in job design. We then use novel data on these job attributes to examine these issues. As predicted, job designs tend to be “coherent” across these attributes within the same job. Job designs also tend to follow similar patterns across jobs in the same firm, and especially in the same establishment: when one job is optimized ex ante, others are more likely to be also. There is evidence that firms segregate different types of job designs across different establishments. At the industry level, both computer usage and R&D spending are related to job design decisions.

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Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-766-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

Brian Carlisle

This paper is concerned with job re‐design in operating systems: the types of change encountered; who advocates change and why; the implications of job changes for the job

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1947

Abstract

This paper is concerned with job re‐design in operating systems: the types of change encountered; who advocates change and why; the implications of job changes for the job holders and their supervisors (and ultimately operations managers); and steps which can be taken to overcome or avoid supervisory management alienation. Also, the types of outcome typically emerging after implementation of job revisions.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Giovanni Russo and Gijs van Houten

The main function of hierarchies is to coordinate activities within an organization, but a hierarchical structure also provides work incentives, by offering the prospect…

Abstract

The main function of hierarchies is to coordinate activities within an organization, but a hierarchical structure also provides work incentives, by offering the prospect of hierarchical mobility. An alternative way for organizations to motivate workers is through job design. In organizations offering rewarding jobs, the incentivizing role of hierarchies may become obsolete, and the number of hierarchical levels can be reduced. Two job design features are particularly relevant: autonomy and problem-solving. We investigate the relationship between the number of hierarchical layers and job design features empirically using the European Company Survey (ECS 2019). We find that the extent of the adoption of both complex job design and autonomous teamwork is negatively associated with the number of hierarchical layers. However, the association between complex job design and the number of hierarchical layers is weakened, and in some cases disappears, in larger organizations where hierarchies have a more important coordination role and it is weakened when the knowledge acquisition costs are high. The use of autonomous teams is robustly negatively associated with the number of hierarchical layers.

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Workplace Productivity and Management Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-675-0

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2017

Franco Fraccaroli, Sara Zaniboni and Donald Truxillo

In this chapter the relationship between job design and older workers is considered. Starting from a conceptual definition of what the concept job and work design is, we…

Abstract

In this chapter the relationship between job design and older workers is considered. Starting from a conceptual definition of what the concept job and work design is, we consider theoretic approaches to the study of job design over the last decades, including recent frameworks, measurement, and research. We follow this with a specific focus on the topic of job design for older workers. We argue that the rules of “good job design” are not applicable to all workers, focusing specifically on the issues of age and career stage. We next show through a theoretical model and some empirical research that some job characteristics may be more suitable or beneficial for people in older age groups or later stages of their careers (e.g., Truxillo, Cadiz, Rineer, Zaniboni, & Fraccaroli, 2012). Empirical support for the role of age in job design is considered. We conclude by defining some avenues for future research, including the identification of additional factors that may determine how age and job characteristics affect worker behavior, attitudes, and well-being.

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Age Diversity in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-073-0

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Annika Lantz and Kin Andersson

Learning at work generalises through socialisation into behaviours away from the workplace. The aim of this study is to give empirical evidence of a positive relationship…

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2312

Abstract

Purpose

Learning at work generalises through socialisation into behaviours away from the workplace. The aim of this study is to give empirical evidence of a positive relationship between job design, self‐efficacy, competence efficacy and personal initiative at work, and proactive job search while under notice of redundancy and in unemployment.

Design/methodology/approach

The results are based on a detailed work task analysis and self‐reported data by individuals who had been made redundant (n=176).

Findings

The paper finds that the theoretical model received substantial, but not full support. Job design has impact on personal initiative through self‐efficacy and competence‐efficacy as mediating variables between job design and personal initiative. Personal initiative at work affects proactive job search when facing unemployment.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation is that the respondents in general had jobs that were low‐skilled and routine. It is likely that a research group with larger differences in job design would show stronger relations between job design and personal initiative.

Practical implications

Work task analysis identifies conditions at work that minimise and mitigate individual initiative and makes it possible to correct them in order both to enhance organisational effectiveness and the individuals' long‐term employability.

Originality/value

The paper proposes that autonomy and complexity, which are the aspects most predominant in the study of how job design affects personal initiative and self‐efficacy, are too limited. The sequential completeness provides a broader or narrower scope of work tasks and more or less feed back which is crucial for learning and mastery‐experiences. Demand on cooperation, demand on responsibility, cognitive demand and learning opportunities affect initiative‐taking as well.

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Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2020

Sujinda Popaitoon

In response to calls for the extension of job design research for the strategic team particularly in high-velocity environment, the purpose of this paper is to investigate…

Abstract

Purpose

In response to calls for the extension of job design research for the strategic team particularly in high-velocity environment, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating roles of job design in the relationships between project team viewed as human capital resources and new product development (NPD) performance in the short and long run. Based on survey data from 117 NPD project teams in high-technology multinational companies (MNCs) in Thailand, this research finds that job design (i.e. autonomous, task identity and feedback) moderates the effects of human capital resources on NPD project success. In addition, job design works in concert with human capital resources to affect managing NPD project-to-project in the long run. Designing jobs by providing autonomy, identity and feedbacks could trigger the stronger contribution not only for fostering knowledge creation in the NPD project team, but also encouraging intrinsic motivation to commit extra effort to achieve NPD goals. This research contributes to the job design literature of how job design works for NPD project team to achieve short-and long-run NPD performance. Implications for these results are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data from 117 NPD projects in high-technology MNCs in Thailand, this research uses hierarchical regression to do analyses.

Findings

This research finds that job design (i.e. autonomous, task identity and feedback) moderates the effects of human capital resources on the short-run project performance. In addition, job design works in concert with human capital resources to affect managing project-to-project in the long run.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the job design literature of how job design works for NPD project team to achieve short-and long-run NPD performance.

Originality/value

Investigating the moderating roles of job design in the relationship between human capital resources and NPD performance in the short and long run.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1973

S. Mills

Industrial sociologists and psychologists have often paid little more than scant attention to the actual work of the people they have been studying. The literature is full…

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1895

Abstract

Industrial sociologists and psychologists have often paid little more than scant attention to the actual work of the people they have been studying. The literature is full of brief comments about the work situation which lack both data and an analytical framework. This deficiency is surprising. Work content has been shown to have a significant impact on behaviour, morale, and productivity in the workplace. The purpose of job design research is to seek to understand this relationship more clearly and then to use research‐based insights to create jobs which are more satisfying to perform, and more efficient in performance. As such this body of knowledge should be a subject of particular relevance for personnel specialists since job content considerations should affect recruitment, training, placement and effort‐reward policies. However, although job content has very wide repercussions for the personnel area, job design is frequently left by default to the technical and engineering specialists, who seek to make their work system function effectively in production rather than human terms.

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Personnel Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2007

Annika Lantz and Agneta Brav

What is required of job design and production planning, if they are to result in a work group taking a self‐starting approach and going beyond what is formally required of…

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6519

Abstract

Purpose

What is required of job design and production planning, if they are to result in a work group taking a self‐starting approach and going beyond what is formally required of it? This paper aims to contribute to group research by testing a theoretical model of relations between job design on the one hand (captured as completeness, demand on responsibility, demand on cooperation, cognitive demand, and learning opportunities), and reflexivity and learning processes within natural work groups in industry on the other hand.

Design/methodology/approach

The results are based on detailed task analyses and questionnaires from 40 work groups at the shop‐floor level in manufacturing industry in Sweden.

Findings

Job design and work routines show strong effects on reflexivity and learning processes. Four dimensions of job design – completeness, demand on cooperation, cognitive demand and learning opportunities – impact on reflexivity and learning processes. Job design correlates with social routines, and social routines with work routines.

Practical implications

It is crucial to create a job design that puts challenging demands on the group if group processes are to be characterized by reflexivity and learning. Managers have a challenging task to provide both a space and a climate that supports reflexivity and learning. All functions affected by production planning need to be involved in job design to balance conflicts between productivity and innovation.

Originality/value

Detailed task analysis is worthwhile as it captures aspects that are prerequisites for innovative groups not previously accounted for.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Pooja Garg and Renu Rastogi

The paper aims to identify the key issues of job design research and practice to motivate employees' performance.

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81472

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to identify the key issues of job design research and practice to motivate employees' performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model of Hackman and Oldham's job characteristics has been adopted to motivate employees' performance.

Findings

The paper finds that a dynamic managerial learning framework is required in order to enhance employees' performance to meet global challenges.

Practical implications

Traditional outcomes will certainly remain central to the agenda. But some wider developments are to be incorporated within organizational systems so as to motivate employees for better performance.

Originality/value

The paper may be of value to researchers and practitioners in the management development field for offering enhanced jobs to employees leading to improved performance.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1981

Frank Kirkman

In the last 15 years increasing attention has been paid to what has become known as the “quality of working life”. Job design, sometimes known as work design, work…

Abstract

In the last 15 years increasing attention has been paid to what has become known as the “quality of working life”. Job design, sometimes known as work design, work organisation or the humanisation of work, has emerged as a recognisable area of study. There are now innumerable articles which include such terms in their titles and a number of books which deal with the development and dimensions of the subject area. What are the chances that a discipline will develop? How likely is it that the discipline will be applied in practice? The answer to these questions rests upon the answer to the four main questions examined in this paper.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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