Job Design

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Introduction

Organization is the strength of any business. The more organized and efficient the different components in the business are, the better it functions and produces. Breaking down tasks associated with each component in the system has led to the concept of job design. Job design came about with rapid technological advancements at the turn of the 20th century when mass production and assembly line operations emerged. As jobs continue to become more sophisticated and specialized, the need for an educated and motivated workforce has become indispensable.

Job Design

The main purpose of job design (or re-design) is to increase both employee motivation and productivity (Rush, 1971). Increased productivity can manifest itself in various forms. For example, the focus can be that of improving quality and quantity of goods and services, reduce operation costs, and/or reduce turnover and training costs.

On the other hand, increasing employees' motivation can be achieved through increased job satisfaction. To this end, the Two-Hygiene Theory by Herzberg (1971, as cited in Rush) describes two sets of factors, satisfying and dissatisfying, that affect an employee's self-esteem and opportunity for self-actualization in the workplace (See Table 1).

Herzberg (1966) made a critical distinction between these factors in that a person does not move in a continuum from being dissatisfied to becoming satisfied or vice versa. Rush (1971, p. 7) tries to explain Herzberg's point by stating that, "the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, but no satisfaction; and that the opposite of dissatisfaction is not satisfaction but no dissatisfaction". In a practical sense, this means that dissatisfying factors help support and maintain the structure of the job, while the satisfying factors help the employee reach self-actualization and can increase motivation to continue to do the job.

Methods of Job Design

The performance technologist has at his or her...
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