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. Empowement 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.