d. Much of the work on job enlargement, job enrichment, and self-managing work teams has its roots in the motivational approach to job design(Table 4.4 in the text). However, most of the research shows these interventionsincrease employee satisfaction and performance quality, but not necessarilyincrease quantity of performance.Example: Alston & Bird of Atlanta have designed the paralegal job so that itentails a great deal of autonomy and clear communication channels betweenattorneys and paralegals. The result: In an industry where turnover amongparalegals averages 20 percent per year, turnover at Alston & Bird averages7 percent per year. The firm also receives 15,000 applications for the 200positions available per year.C.Biological Approach1. The biological approach to job design comes primarily from the sciences ofbiomechanics (the study of body movements), and it is usually referred to asergonomics,or the concern with examining the interface between individuals' physiologicalcharacteristics and the physical work environment. The goal of this approach is to
minimize the physical strain on the worker by structuring the physical work environmentaround the way the body works.Example: At Toyota's high-tech Tahara No. 4 line, new electric vehiclecarriers were installed to minimize stress on the workers' bodies. They adjusta car's height at every workstation. Toyota reports a major reduction inturnover during the plant's first year of operation.2. The biological approach focuses on outcomes such as physical fatigue, achesand pains, and health complaints.3. The biological approach has been applied in redesigning equipment to reducethe physical demands so women can perform the jobs and to reduce occupationalillnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome.D.Perceptual-Motor Approach1. The perceptual-motor approach to job design has its roots in the human-factorsliterature and focuses on human mental capabilities and limitations. The goal is to designjobs in a way that ensures that they do not exceed people's mental capabilities.2. This approach generally tries to improve reliability, safety, and user reactionsby designing jobs in a way that reduces the information processing requirements of thejob.3. This approach, similar to the mechanistic approach, generally has the effect ofdecreasing the job's cognitive demands.4. Recent changes in technological capabilities hold the promise of helping toreduce job demands and errors, but in some cases, these developments have actuallymade the problem worse. This is referred to as “absence presence”Example: An example of absence presence is talking on a cell phone whiledriving a car.E.Trade-offs among Different Approaches for Job Design1. One research study found job incumbents expressed higher satisfaction withjobs scoring highly on motivational approach. However, the motivational andmechanistic approaches were negatively related, suggesting that designing jobs tomaximize efficiency is likely to result in a lower motivational component to those jobs.2. Jobs redesigned to increase the motivating potential result in higher costs interms of ability requirements, training, and compensation.3. In designing jobs, it is important to understand the trade-offs inherent infocusing on one particular approach to job design.Chapter VocabularyThese terms are defined in the "Extended Chapter Outline" section.CentralizationDepartmentationJob analysisJob descriptionJob specificationJob design
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Organizational studies and human resource management