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Work Design Essay

646 words - 3 pages

Work Design

Work design has been researched and applied extensively in organizations. Recently, organizations have tended to combine work design with formal structure and supporting changes in goal setting, reward systems, work environment, and other performance management practices. These organizational factors can help structure and reinforce the kinds of work behaviors associated with specific work designs We will examine three approaches to work design. First, the engineering approach, which focuses on efficiency and simplification, and results in traditional job and work group designs. Second approach to work design rests on motivational theories and attempts to enrich the work ...view middle of the document...

The engineering approach produces two kinds of work design: traditional jobs and traditional work groups. When the work can be completed by one person, such as with bank tellers and telephone operators, traditional jobs are created. These jobs tend to be simplified, with routine and repetitive tasks having clear specifications concerning time and motion. When the work requires coordination among people, such as on automobile assembly lines, traditional work groups are developed. They are composed of members performing relatively routine yet related tasks. The overall group task is typically broken into simpler, discrete parts (often called jobs). The tasks and work methods are specified for each part, and the parts are assigned to group members. Each member performs a routine and repetitive part of the group task. Members' separate task contributions are coordinated for overall task achievement through such external controls as schedules, rigid work flows, and supervisors. In the 1950s and 1960s, this method of work design was popularized by the assembly lines of American...

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