Flexibility in organization
Flexibility is becoming a common world in the present world of work. Organisations find it essential to be flexible and to make its employees have the same mind set because they believe it can create organisational prosperity in terms of profit and competitive advantage. Functional flexibility is the requirement or expectation that workers will perform tasks beyond those strictly specified as their main role of function. This might entail ‘cross-working’ (performing other people’s jobs at the workplace), increasing the number of tasks performed or working in team. Numerical flexibility is about using ‘non-standard’ contracts of employment to match labour supply to product and service demand and to design work in a way that avoids exposure to the risk of ‘over-staffing’. Employers achieve numerical flexibility when employees work part-time, fixed-term, zero hours, annual hours, or from home. It may also entail the use of short-term and/or flexible contracts with ‘outside’ labour (home workers, agency workers, and temporary workers) employed either on an intermittent or longer-term basis, including contracting in and contracting out. This is known as outsourcing. As far as financial flexibility is concerned it is the firm’s ability to adjust employment costs to reflect the state of supply and demand in external labour. Restructuring of value chains not only increases flexibility but also has other aims for instance cost-cutting, closeness to market or customers and access to knowledge. Requirements for flexibility may be passed on along the lines of power and position in the chain. One survey of senior executives at global companies suggests that, on balance, firms want to become even more flexible. Executives believe that the benefits of strategic flexibility in five years’ time will be even greater than they are today. They also welcome greater flexibility, seeing it as a means for them to attain greater job satisfaction. Concerns...
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