Assignment Submission: Reintegrating Job Design and Career Theory

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1. What is a smart job and why should organizations care about designing them?

Douglas Hall (Hall 2002) defined “smart jobs” as career-developing positions which stimulate individuals to learn and grow by creating metacompetency of adaptability and self-awareness. Adaptability is a competency that enables the learning of other competencies (Hall 2002). Self-aware allows an individual to figure out what important career skills and knowledge she or he is lacking and will need to develop (Hall 2002).

Organizations should care about job designs. The example of W. L. Gore in our textbook clearly demonstrated that strategic work design could benefit an organization by assigning and coordinating tasks in ways that increase employee productivity. And the key to making work design strategic is therefore to align the methods used for assigning and coordinating tasks with overall HR strategy.

Job design is highly correlated to the performance of employees: Smart job design leads to high job satisfaction, high performance and low turnover, making an organization more competitive and robust. On the contrary, poor job design results in low efficiency, poor morale and high turnover, translating to high costs to an organization. The concept of smart jobs works extremely well during a recessional period when organizations require exceptional return from employees so as to survive in the economical hardship. Under conditions of limited resource and capital, smart jobs create human energy (Hall 2009) to liberate human excitement, involvement, and creativity for employees to achieve excellent performance.

As Generation Y becomes a dominant force in labor market (Ann Hewlett 2009), it is important for organizations to design jobs to fit their preferences and fulfilling their new career needs beyond compensations. Because smart jobs are instrumental to fulfill employee's long term goals in career choices, they are more likely to attract talents of Generation Y to fuel...
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