PA 720 - Organizational Behavior Concept: Job Enrichment Jared Stern
Introduction The concept of Job Enrichment is a very broad theory within the field of organizational behavior that is applicable within all sectors of organization. Used synonymously with “job enlargement”, the term job enrichment refers to different methods that are aimed at increasing employee’s job motivation, satisfaction, self-worth, in an attempt to ultimately increase the overall employee productivity within the organization. Research studies conducted on Job Enrichment and its influence on employee productivity date back to the 1950s and 1960s and throughout those years a wide variety of methods have emerged. Most commonly job enrichment is attributed to the process of job redesign in order to reverse the negative effects monotony of employee tasks, which will include boredom, lack of autonomy and dissatisfaction. Other variances of job enrichment include providing worker incentives by involving the employee in the decision making process, the implementation of quality work groups and team building, and job independence as an incentive to increase productivity. Evolution of the concept of Job Enrichment Beginning in the middle of the 20th century up until present day, the theory of job enrichment has offered many compelling concepts to increase employee productivity while simultaneously enriching the employees work experience, all of which remain applicable today. The early works which established Job enrichment among organizational behavior theorists was Frederick Herzberg’s “Hygiene Theory” and Hackman and Oldham’s “Job Characteristic Model”.
The Hygiene Theory The central figure in developing the theory of job enrichment within the framework of organizational behavior was Frederick Herzberg who’s pivotal “Hygiene Theory” has contributed a solid basis and foundation for subsequent generations to expand upon. According to Herzberg, for a worker to be happy and therefore productive the environmental factors of his workplace must not cause him discomfort. Herzberg further asserts that although providing employees with a more comfortable environment may in turn make them more productive, this does not necessarily mean they will be motivated to perform their duties. (Simonds & Orife, 1975) Herzberg believed that the process of motivating workers is by enhancing their feeling of responsibility and connection to their work. In this case, Herzberg proclaims that it is the work itself that is rewarding. Managers can help the employees connect to their work by giving them more authority over the job, as well as offering direct and individual feedback. The Job Characteristics Model In 1975 Hackman and Oldham advanced the ideas of Herzberg by introducing what they called “The Job Characteristics Model”. “This model is formulated on the assumption that if five core job characteristics are present, three psychological states critical to motivation are produced, resulting in positive outcomes.” (Griffin, Patterson, & West, 2001) The five core job characteristics consist of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Hackman and Oldham state that the three psychological states that motivation is dependent upon are experienced meaningfulness of work, responsibility for work outcomes, and knowledge of results. Hackman and
Oldham then proclaim that to the degree that these psychological states are present, high personal employee work motivation will result. Relevance of Job Enrichment in 2007 The early works of Herzberg and Hackman & Oldham have provided a feasible and effective framework for increasing employee productivity through job enrichment that is just as applicable today as it was when their research was first conducted. Within the past half century there have been numerous researches conducted that provides useful empirical evidence to illustrate the rewards and benefits of job enrichment. We will further discuss...
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