Chapter07 - CHAPTER 7: DESIGN OF WORK SYSTEMS Teaching...

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CHAPTER 7: DESIGN OF WORK SYSTEMS Teaching Notes The main topics covered in this chapter are job design and work measurement. You may choose to focus on one and exclude or de-emphasize the other without affecting material in later chapters. Job design is basically qualitative while work measurement is basically quantitative. Work sampling can be deleted from work measurement if desired. However, if you intend to cover simulation, you may want to include work sampling because it introduces use of a random number table. I find that good class discussions usually occur on job design topics such as automation and fear of job loss, the use of industrial robots, specialization and productivity, repetitive jobs, efficiency versus behavioral approaches to job design, and working conditions. Some instructors like to make this chapter one of the main parts of the course while others de-emphasize or omit the material. A lot will depend on possible coverage in a management or behavioral science course the students may be required to take. There is a good case at the end of the chapter. “Making Hotplates” involves job enlargement. It is a qualitative case. Answers to Discussion and Review Questions 1. Job design is concerned with specifying the contents and methods of jobs. It is important because it has a significant impact on the efficiency and productivity of workers. 2. From the standpoint of management, having workers with specialized skills can substantially lower the total cost of a product and also requires less training. The disadvantages for management include the following: a) Workers may be somewhat inflexible in terms of the functions they can perform. b) They are more likely to have less motivation, and higher absenteeism. From the standpoint of workers, the advantages include clearer job responsibility and requirements that are easier to understand. The disadvantage for the workers is that the specialized tasks can become monotonous and boring, causing a lack of fulfillment. 3. Job enlargement involves assigning a larger portion of a task to a worker (i.e., horizontal loading). Job enrichment involves an increase in the level of responsibility for planning and coordinating tasks (i.e., vertical loading). 4. Both job enlargement and job enrichment are intended to motivate workers and improve morale by making work more interesting and challenging to workers, and helping them to feel they have an important part in the work system. 5. It is a pay system used by organizations to reward workers who undergo training that increases their skills. It is a portion of a worker’s pay that is based on the knowledge and skill the worker possesses. Knowledge-based pay has three dimensions: Horizontal skills reflect the variety of tasks the worker is capable of performing; Vertical skills reflect management tasks the worker is capable of; and Depth skills reflect quality and productivity results. 6.
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Chapter07 - CHAPTER 7: DESIGN OF WORK SYSTEMS Teaching...

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