This is where motivation theory and its contribution to the

Hackman Oldham Notes
This is where motivation theory and its contribution to the - to job
design is important. Jobs which are designed purely on division of
labour, scientific management or even purely ergonomic principles
can alienate the people performing them.
Job design should also take into account the desire of individuals to
fulfil their needs for self-esteem and personal development. This
achieves two important objectives of job design. First, it provides
jobs which have an intrinsically higher quality of working life — an
ethically desirable end in itself. Second, because of the higher levels
of motivation it engenders, it is instrumental in achieving better
performance for the operation, in terms of both the quality and the
quantity of output. This approach to job design involves two
conceptual steps: first, exploring how the various characteristics of
the job affect people’s motivation; second, exploring how
individuals’ motivation towards the job affects their performance at
that job.
Typical of the models which underlie this approach to job design is
that by Hackman and Oldham. Here a number of ‘techniques’ of job
design are recommended in order to affect particular core
‘characteristics’ of the job. These core characteristics of the job are
held to influence various positive ‘mental states’ towards the job.
In turn, these are assumed to give certain performance outcomes.
Some of the ‘techniques’ which Hackman and Oldham originally
called ‘implementing concepts’ need a little further explanation:
Combining tasks means increasing the number of
separate elements or activities allocated to individuals.
Forming natural work units means putting together
activities which make a coherent (preferably also a
continuing) whole.
Establishing client relationships means that staff make
contact with their internal customers directly rather than
exclusively through their supervisors.
Vertical loading means including ‘indirect’ activities (such
as the maintenance, scheduling and general management
of the job) in the tasks allocated to the individual.
Opening feedback channels means ensuring not only that
internal customer feed back perceptions of performance
directly to staff but also that staff are provided with
information regarding their overall performance.
Hackman and Oldham also indicate how these techniques of job
design shape the core characteristics of the resulting job, and
further, how the core characteristics influence the ‘mental states’ of
the person doing the job. By ‘mental states’ they mean the attitude
of individuals towards their jobs — specifically, how meaningful they
find the job, how much responsibility and control they feel they
have over the way the job is done, and how much they understand
about the results of their efforts. High levels of all these mental
states, it is held, positively influence people’s performance at their
job in terms of their motivation, quality of work, satisfaction with
their work, turnover and absenteeism.
Job Rotation
If increasing the number of related tasks in the job is constrained in
some way, for example by the technology of the process, one
approach may be to encourage job rotation. This means moving
individuals periodically between different sets of tasks to provide
some variety in their activities. When successful, job rotation can
increase skill flexibility and make a small contribution to reducing
monotony. However, it is not viewed as universally beneficial either
by management (because it can disrupt the smooth flow of work) or
by the people performing the jobs (because it can interfere with
their rhythm of work).
Job Enlargement
The most obvious method of achieving at least some of the
objectives of behavioural job design is by allocating a larger number
of tasks to individuals (what Hackman and Oldham called combining
tasks). If these extra tasks are broadly of the same type as those in
the original job, the change is called Job Enlargement. This may not
involve more demanding or fulfilling tasks, but it may provide a
more complete and therefore slightly more meaningful job. If
nothing else, people performing an enlarged job will not repeat
themselves as often, which could make the job marginally less
monotonous. So, for example, suppose that the manufacture of a
product has traditionally been split up on an assembly-line basis
into ten equal and sequential jobs. If that job is then redesigned so
as to form two parallel assembly lines of five people, the output
from the system as a whole would be maintained but each operator
would have twice the number of tasks to perform. This is job
enlargement. Operators repeat themselves less frequently and
presumably the variety of tasks is greater, although no further
responsibility or autonomy is necessarily given to each operator.
Job Enrichment
Job Enrichment, like job enlargement, increases the number of
tasks which are allocated to jobs. However, it means allocating
extra tasks which involve more decision making, greater autonomy
and therefore greater control over the job. For example, the extra
tasks could include the maintenance of, and adjustments to, any
process technology used, the planning and control of activities
within the job or the monitoring of quality levels. The effect is both
to reduce repetition in the job and to increase the autonomy and
personal development opportunities in the job. So, in the assemblyline example, each operator, as well as being allocated a job which
is twice as long as that previously performed could be allocated
responsibility for carrying out routine maintenance and such tasks
as record-keeping and managing the supply of materials. As a
result, both the autonomy and decision-making responsibility of the
job have been increased.
One way of understanding the difference between job enlargement
and job enrichment is by thinking of changing jobs on what are
sometimes termed horizontal dimensions of job design and vertical
dimensions of job design.
Horizontal and Vertical changes.
Broadly, horizontal changes are those which extend the variety of
similar tasks assigned to a particular job. Vertical job changes are
those which add responsibilities, decision making or autonomy to
the job. Job enlargement implies movement only in the horizontal
scale, whereas job enrichment certainly implies movement on the
vertical scale and perhaps on both scales.
Empowerment is an extension of the autonomy job characteristic
prominent in the behavioural approach to job design. However, it is
usually taken to mean more than autonomy. Whereas autonomy
means giving staff the ability to change how they do their jobs,
empowerment means giving staff the authority to make changes to
the job itself, as well as how it is performed. This can be designed
into jobs to different degrees.