ERIC Number: ED367878
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
How Do You Design a Job? New Businesses.
Campion, Michael A.; Thayer, Paul W.
A literature review and two major studies discovered four approaches to job design, each geared toward different sets of outcomes for individual employees and organizations. The motivational approach tries to design jobs to provide the worker with autonomy and the opportunity to make decisions about how or in what order tasks are done. The mechanistic approach is based on the assumption that the work should be broken down into highly specialized jobs, tasks simplified, a minimum of idle time obtained, and repetition should be used to benefit from practice. The human factors approach designs the job to limit the amount of information to which the worker must pay attention or remember. The goal of the biological approach is to reduce the physical demands of work and the resulting discomforts and injuries. All of the approaches have advantages and drawbacks. Although each approach can help make a job better, all contain unintended consequences that advocates tend to ignore. For example, too liberal an application of the motivational approach can increase the mental demands of the job and increase training time and make it more difficult to find qualified employees. The mechanistic approach may lead to less interesting, satisfying, and rewarding jobs. The human factors approach may unintentionally decrease mental demands to the point of boredom. A drawback of the biological and human factors approaches is the financial cost. (Recommendations for further reading are made.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Employment Problems, Human Factors Engineering, Job Analysis, Job Development, Organizational Development
Small Business Development Center, 432 North Lake Street, Room 425, Madison, WI 53706 (reprint no. AR271: 1-9 copies, $4 each plus $2 shipping; 10-99, $3 each plus $4 shipping; 100 or more, $2 each plus $10 shipping).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Small Business Forum, volume 8, number 2, p23-27, Fall 1990 (reprint).