Behavioral Considerations in Job Design Operations Management Assignment Help

Behavioral Considerations in Job Design

Degree of Labor Specialization Specialization of labor is a tow edged sword in job design. On one hand specialization has made possible high-speed. low-cost production and from a materialistic standpoint has greatly enhanced our standard of living. On the other hand it is well known that extreme specialization. such as that encountered on traditional assembly lines in mass production industries often has serious adverse effects on workers which in turn are often passed on to the production systems in the form of low-quality or defective work. In essence, the problem is to determine how much specialization is enough. At what point do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages (See Exhibit 10.3.) Recent research suggests that the disadvantages dominate the advantages mu h more than was thought in the past. However simply stating that for purely humanitarian reasons specialization should be avoided is risky. The reason of course is that people differ in what they want from their work and what they are willing to put into it. Some workers prefer not to make decision about their work some like to daydream on the job and others are simply not capable of performing highly complex work. Still. there is a good deal of worker frustration with the way many jobs are structured leading organizations to try different approaches to job design. Two popular contemporary approaches are job enrichment and sociotechnical systems. The philosophical objective underlying these approaches is to improve the quality of work life of the employee. and so they are often applied as central features of what is termed a quality of work life (QWL) program.

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