14 JOBS AND THE DESIGN OF WORK CHAPTER SCAN Work design is important because of the impact the design has on productivity. The Job Characteristics Model includes skill variety, task significance, task identity, autonomy, and feedback as major considerations for job design. In contrast, the social information-processing model considers information from others in the organization about the work to be just as important. This chapter examines the meaning of work, four traditional approaches to job design, four alternative approaches to job design, and emerging issues in job design. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Define the term job, and identify six patterns of defining work. Discuss the four traditional approaches to job design. Describe the job characteristics model. Compare the social information-processing (SIP) model with traditional job design approaches. Explain the interdisciplinary approach to job design. Compare Japanese, German, and Scandinavian approaches to work. Explain how job control, uncertainty, and conflict can be managed for employee well-being. Discuss five contemporary issues in the design of work. 281 282 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work KEY TERMS Chapter 14 introduces the following key terms: job work meaning of work work simplification job enlargement job rotation cross-training job enrichment Job Characteristics Model Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) social information-processing (SIP) model lean production sociotechnical systems (STS) technocentric anthropocentric job sharing flextime virtual office technostress task revision counter-role-behavior THE CHAPTER SUMMARIZED I THINKING AHEAD: Structured Jobs and Fixed Work Schedules II. WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS Work is effortful, productive activity that results in a product or service. Work plays an important role in connecting people to reality. Work is organized into jobs, and people get work done through sets of task and authority relationships that make up organizations. A. The Meaning of Work The meaning of work differs from person to person, and from culture to culture. One recent study found six patterns people follow in defining work that help explain the cultural differences in people’s motivation to work. Nevertheless, people in many cultures seem to make a similar distinction between the nature of their work and the context in which they perform the work. Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work B. 283 Jobs in Organizations Jobs are the basic building block of the task and authority relationships that define an organization's structure. Differentiation is the process of subdividing organizational work into jobs. Integration is the process of connecting jobs into a coordinated, cohesive whole. Jobs are interdependent and require careful planning and design. III. TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO JOB DESIGN Failure to differentiate, integrate, or both may result in poorly designed jobs, which may lead to performance problems. In contrast, well-designed jobs improve productivity and enhance employee satisfaction. Four approaches to job design developed during the twentieth century include scientific management, job enlargement/job rotation, job enrichment, and the job characteristics theory. A. Scientific Management Scientific management emphasized work simplification through job specialization. Work simplification is the standardization and the narrow, explicit specification of task activities for workers. The scientific management approach emphasized efficiency but also dehumanized labor. It undervalues the human capacity for thought and ingenuity, resulting in boring, monotonous work and lack of involvement. B. Job Enlargement/Job Rotation Job enlargement is a method of job design that increases the number of tasks in a job in an attempt to overcome the boredom of overspecialization. Job rotation is the systematic shifting of workers from one task to another over time. These approaches did not change the nature of the tasks performed, but did improve work with regard to repetition and the mechanical work pace. Cross-training is a variation of job enlargement in which workers are trained in different specialized tasks or activities. C. Job Enrichment Job enrichment designs jobs by incorporating motivational factors into them. Job enrichment increases the amount of responsibility in a job through vertical loading. Employees are given more tasks, and more freedom and control in carrying out those tasks. Job enrichment is based on an oversimplified motivational theory and does not consider individual differences among employees. 284 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work D. Job Characteristics Theory The Hackman and Oldham model of job characteristics is a framework for understanding person-job fit through the interaction of core job dimensions with critical psychological states within a person. The Job Characteristics Model includes five core job characteristics: skill variety; task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job itself. The model also includes three critical psychological states: experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for work outcomes; and knowledge of results. Unless all of the characteristics are present, the outcome proposed may only result in short-term success. The easiest aspects to enhance are skill variety and task identity. The Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) is a survey instrument designed to measure the elements in the Job Characteristics Model. An alternative to the JDS is the Job Characteristics Inventory (JCI). Although not as comprehensive as the JDS, the JCI does measure core job characteristics. IV. ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO JOB DESIGN Limitations of the traditional job design approaches have stimulated the development of four alternative approaches. These alternative approaches to job design include social informationprocessing (SIP), the interdisciplinary approach, the international perspective, and the health and well-being approach. A. Social Information Processing The social information-processing model suggests that important job factors depend in part on what others tell a person about the job. It emphasizes the interpersonal aspects of work design and helps people construct social realities associated with their jobs. B. Interdisciplinary Approach This approach builds on the job design approach. The model incorporates four approaches because it asserts that no one approach is comprehensive enough. The mechanistic, motivational, biological, and perceptual/motor approaches make up the interdisciplinary model. Table 14.2 summarizes the positive and negative outcomes of each job design approach. 1. Mechanistic Approach The mechanistic approach is patterned after the scientific approach and has its roots in mechanical engineering. Outcomes include decreased training time and less likelihood of errors, as well as lower job satisfaction and lower motivation. Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 2. 285 Motivational Approach The motivational approach draws from industrial psychology and results in higher job satisfaction and higher motivation, but also involves increased training time and a greater chance of errors. 3. Biological Approach The biological approach results in less physical effort and fatigue and higher job satisfaction, but requires higher financial costs because of the necessity to change equipment in order to achieve those reductions. 4. Perceptual/Motor Approach Experimental psychology produced the perceptual/motor approach that reduces the likelihood of accidents and errors, and decreases training time. However, it also results in lower job satisfaction and motivation. C. International Perspectives on the Design of Work Japanese work systems emphasize collective and cooperative working arrangements. The German approach to job design originally consisted of a technocentric focus on technology and engineering, but has moved to an anthropocentric, or human centered, approach more recently. The Scandinavian perspective places its emphasis on worker control and social support systems. D. Work Design and Well-Being Organizations should consider the effects of job design on worker health and well-being. Some ways in which organizations can impact worker health and well-being include increasing worker control, reducing worker uncertainty, and managing conflict and task/job demands. V. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE DESIGN OF WORK A. Telecommuting Telecommuting involves fulfilling work responsibilities from home or other locations geographically separate from the company’s primary location. Notebook computers enable individuals to complete work responsibilities from virtually any location while traveling. Telecommuting can result in feelings of social isolation. 286 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work B. Alternative Work Patterns Alternative work patterns allow flexibility among people and time to complete a set of tasks. Job sharing is an alternative work pattern in which more than one person occupies a single job. Flextime enables employees to set their own daily work schedules. C. Technology at Work The virtual office is a mobile platform of computer, telecommunication, and information technology and services that enables mobile workforce members to conduct business virtually anywhere, anytime, globally. Technostress is the stress caused by new and advancing technologies in the workplace. D. Task Revision Task revision involves innovative modification of incorrectly specified roles or jobs. Counter-role behavior is deviant behavior in either a correctly or incorrectly defined job or role, and results in poor performance in cases where a role or task is correctly defined. When roles or tasks are incorrectly defined, counter-role behavior is a useful way to correct for the problem. E. Skill Development One source of stress from new information technologies is the growing gap between the skills needed for the new technologies and the skills employees have in using the technologies. Skill development must be considered in conjunction with job design. VI. MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK VII. LOOKING BACK: Flexible Work Schedules, Job Sharing, and a Female CEO Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 287 CHAPTER SUMMARY Different countries have different preferences for one or more of six distinct patterns of defining work. Scientific management, job enlargement/job rotation, job enrichment, and the job characteristics theory are traditional American approaches to the design of work and the management of workforce diversity. The social information-processing (SIP) model suggests that information from others and the social context are important in a job. The interdisciplinary approach draws on mechanical engineering, industrial psychology, experimental psychology, and biology in considering the advantages and disadvantages of job design efforts. The cultural values and social organizations in Japan, Germany, and Scandinavia lead to unique approaches to the design of work. Control, uncertainty, conflict, and job/task demands are important job design parameters to consider when designing work for the well-being of the workers. Telecommuting, alternative work patterns, technostress, task revision, and skill development are emerging issues in the design of work and the use of information technology. REVIEW QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. Define a job in its organizational context. A job is a set of specified work and task activities that engage an individual in an organization. 2. Describe six patterns of working that have been studied in different countries. In Pattern A, the value of work comes from performance of activities for which people are accountable and self-directed. Work is devoid of negative affect. Pattern B people define work as an activity that provides a positive affect and identity. It contributes to society and is not unpleasant. Pattern C people view work as an activity where profits accrue to others by performance. Work is strenuous and somewhat compulsive. Pattern D people define work as a physical activity directed by others, and usually devoid of positive affect. Pattern E people see work as unpleasant physically and mentally strenuous activity. In Pattern F, people define work as an activity constrained to specific time periods that does not create positive affect when performed. Work is defined most positively and with the most balanced personal and collective reasons for participating in the Netherlands. In contrast, work is least positive in Germany and Japan. 288 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 3. Describe four traditional approaches to the design of work in America. Work simplification is the standardization and narrow, explicit specification of task activities for workers. Job enlargement and job rotation involve increasing the number of tasks in a job and systematic shifting of workers from one task to another over time, respectively. Job enrichment designs jobs by incorporating motivational factors into them and increases the amount of responsibility in a job through vertical loading. The Job Characteristics Model focuses on five core job characteristics and three critical psychological states. 4. Identify and define the five core job dimensions and the three critical psychological states in the Job Characteristics Model. The five core job dimensions include skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Skill variety is the degree to which the job requires multiple skills and talents. Task identity is the completion of an identifiable piece of work. Task significance is the degree to which the job has a substantial impact. Autonomy is freedom and independence. Feedback is clear and direct information on job performance. The critical psychological states are experienced meaningfulness of work (the job is valuable and worthwhile), experienced responsibility for work outcomes (personal accountability), and knowledge of results (an understanding of how well one is performing the job). 5. What are the salient features of the social information-processing (SIP) model of job design? The SIP model has four salient features. First, other people provide cues that help workers decipher the work environment. Second, other people help workers judge what is important in a job. Third, other people tell workers how they see those workers’ jobs. Fourth, both positive and negative feedback from others helps workers understand their feelings about their jobs. 6. List the positive and negative outcomes of the four job design approaches considered by the interdisciplinary model. Table 14.2 provides a comprehensive summary of the outcomes of these approaches. Outcomes of the mechanistic approach include decreased training time and less likelihood of errors, as well as lower job satisfaction and lower motivation. The motivational approach results in higher job satisfaction and higher motivation, but also involves increased training time and a greater chance of errors. The biological approach results in less physical effort and fatigue and higher job satisfaction, but requires higher financial costs because of the necessity to change equipment in order to achieve those reductions. Outcomes of the perceptual/motor approach include reduced likelihood of accidents and errors, and decreased training time, as well as lower job satisfaction and motivation. Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 289 7. How do the Japanese, German, and Scandinavian approaches to work differ from one another and from the American approach? The Japanese approach to work is collectivist in nature, while the U.S. approach is highly individualized. The Japanese work system emphasizes strategic and cooperative working arrangements. Americans emphasize personal identity and social benefits of work. The German approach values a highly educated workforce and emphasizes a highly efficient hierarchical work environment. The social democratic tradition in Scandinavia stresses social concern over efficiency, with numerous laws supporting the rights and health conditions of workers. 8. Describe the key job design parameters considered when examining the effects of work design on health and well-being. Key job design parameters include: worker control through opportunity to control aspects of work and the workplace, machine and task design, and performance-monitoring feedback systems; uncertainty reduction by providing timely and complete information, clear and unambiguous work assignments, improved communication, and employee access to information sources); conflict management through participative decision making, supportive supervisory styles, and sufficient resources; and task/job design improvement by enhancing core job characteristics. 9. What are five emerging issues in jobs and the design of work? Five emerging issues in jobs and the design of work include telecommuting, alternative work patterns, technology at work, task revision, and skill development. DISCUSSION AND COMMUNICATION QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. Is there ever one best way to design a particular job? In the context of the existing technology at any one point in time, there may be one best way to design a job. However, rapidly changing technology and the challenges of global competition make it essential that workers and managers constantly seek to improve on whatever job design may currently be in place. 2. What should managers learn from the traditional approaches to the design of work used in the United States? Scientific management helps us understand how to make jobs more efficient. Job enlargement and job rotation aid in understanding the importance of eliminating boredom in jobs. Job enrichment provides knowledge about how to make jobs more motivating. Job characteristics theory points out features that workers want in jobs, and links those features to important psychological states those workers experience. 290 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 3. Is it possible for American companies to apply approaches to the design of work that were developed in other countries? It will be particularly important for American companies to consider and apply some of these approaches as (1) they continue to increase their interactions with companies in other countries, and (2) the diversity of the U.S. workforce assimilates more and more individuals from other countries and cultures. 4. What is the most important emerging issue in the design of work? Telecommuting has eliminated the need for many people to travel to work. Alternative work patterns have made it easier for employees to manage work/home conflicts. Technostress is a phenomenon related to modern technologies, and it should be minimized in any job redesign effort. Skill development will be at a premium as employers try to minimize the gap between the skills demanded by new technologies and the capabilities of the workers. 5. Read about new approaches to jobs, such as job sharing. Prepare a memo comparing what you have learned from your reading with one or more approaches to job design discussed in the chapter. What changes in approaches to jobs and job design do you notice from this comparison? This assignment can generate excellent class discussion as students share what they have learned about new approaches to jobs. Students may also have personal experiences with some of these new approaches that can add depth to the discussion. Additional discussion can focus on the advantages and disadvantages of these new approaches to job design for organizations and employees. 6. Interview an employee in your organization or another organization and develop an oral presentation about how the job the employee is doing could be enriched. Make sure you ask questions about all aspects of the employee’s work (e.g., what specific tasks are done and with whom the employee interacts on the job). As students present how jobs could be enriched, challenge them to be specific about the actual job they are discussing and to explain how the enrichment recommendations they made will potentially improve outcomes for the employee and for the organization. 7. Based on the materials in the chapter, prepare a memo detailing the advantages and disadvantages of flextime job arrangements. In a second part of the memo, identify the specific conditions and characteristics required for a successful flextime program. Would you like to work under a flextime arrangement? Students should consider the advantages and disadvantages of flextime job arrangements from both the employee’s and the organization’s perspective. Encourage any students who have worked under a flextime arrangement to share their experiences with the class. Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 291 ETHICS QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. Assume that a company is planning to redesign all of the jobs in one department based on the advice of a major consulting firm. Should the company discuss the job redesign plans with employees before implementing them? Should the employees have been consulted prior to hiring the consulting firm? This situation relates to the Job Characteristics Model. The job redesign plans may affect any or all five of the core job characteristics, and may significantly affect employee motivation as a result. Consequently, the company should certainly discuss the redesign plans with employees before implementing them. 2. Assume that a company is aware of certain psychological or physical risks associated with a job, such as respiratory problems and cancer risk associated with the installation of asbestos. Assume also that the medical costs for workers will not be too great. Is it ethical not to warn employees about the possible health risks? Would it make a difference if the risks were less permanent, such as lower back tension or temporarily altered vision? Employees must be informed about the potential health hazards of their jobs, and employers must make every effort possible to control or eliminate such hazards. This is not only an ethical issue, but a legal one as well. Failure to provide a safe work environment can result in compensation awards. Permanence of effects on worker health is irrelevant. 3. Suppose that the design of a particular job exposes employees to a health or safety risk and that redesigning the job would cost the company more than paying the medical claims if an employee is injured or hurt. Should the company tell employees doing the job about its decision not to redesign the job to make it safer? Is it ethical for the company not to redesign the job? The company has an obligation to correct the situation. Workers have legal rights to learn about significant risks. 4. Assume that a company has many older, mature workers. Rather than retrain them in new technologies, the company wants to replace the older workers with younger ones. Should this be allowed? Such a practice is not only unethical, but would likely expose the company to age discrimination lawsuits, as well. It has been tested recently in connection with downsizing efforts. One company reduced the number of its senior employees, while hiring less expensive, younger individuals at another site. The courts ruled in favor of the dismissed workers. 292 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work CHALLENGES 14.1 DIAGNOSING YOUR JOB Encourage students whose jobs score low in motivating potential to consider specific changes in the design of the job that could improve the motivating potential. As an alternative, use the student’s job with the lowest motivating potential as an example for class discussion, and have the class develop specific suggestions for redesigning the job. 14.2 IS YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT A HEALTHY ONE? This challenge also provides an opportunity to discuss the impact unhealthy work environments have on the people who work in them. Encourage students to share examples of the impact their healthy or unhealthy work environment has had on them and/or on their coworkers. EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES 14.1 CHAOS AND THE MANAGER’S JOB In recent years there has been a flurry of books and articles about how organizations and the way they are changing. The questionnaire in this exercise is an entree into the new world of what managers and leaders are actually doing these days in organizations. It is titled “A Manager’s Job.” It has been administered to nearly 500 MBA students and young managers, about equally divided between men and women and for the most part between the ages of 23 and 33. About 20 percent of the respondents have been from countries other than the United States. To experienced managers, the items on this questionnaire are familiar territory. Students will have to think about it a little differently from the way that beginning managers approach it, but regardless of level of experience, the point can still be made. The point is a simple one: we aren’t prepared for the sort of world this questionnaire portrays. The “culture” doesn’t prepare us: our management textbooks and classrooms don’t prepare us. Experienced managers, however, consistently report that this questionnaire mirrors their work environment very well. How do respondents do on the questionnaire? One who would enjoy it very much would end up with a 4.0 average. One who finds each item “very unpleasant for me” ends up with a zero. The range is narrow, and no particular subpopulation of age, sex, experience, or nationality seems to do better or worse than any other subpopulation. The average score is between 1.5 and 1.6—a D+/C- sort of grade. The range is between about 1.0 and 2.2. Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 293 However, most young people are unprepared for life in such organizational worlds. They think management and leadership are something different from this. What do they think these are? What mythology of the managerial job do they hold? Some myths of management that may be operating include: 1. The myth of one person called “the manager.” 2. The myth that what the leader leads and the manager manages is a single, relatively autonomous organization. 3. The myth of control through hierarchical chain of command. 4. The myth that organizational culture is not important to organizational success. 5. The myth of some product or service as the primary output of the organization. 6. The myth that analysis and study are the most important means of understanding organizations. SOURCE: D. Marcic, “Option B. Quality and the New Management Paradigm,” Organizational Behavior: Experiences and Cases, 4th ed. (Minneapolis/St. Paul: West Publishing, 1995): 296297. 14.2 A JOB REDESIGN EFFORT Instructor's Notes: An obvious model to use is the core Job Characteristics Model. Students have a tendency to consider only one or two of the characteristics. Point out that this often leads to a more disgruntled employee than if nothing had been attempted. ALTERNATIVE EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISE THEY WANT ME TO GO TO SINGAPORE TO BE A MANAGER! Instructor's Notes: Many students may be globally conscious, yet do not want to be assigned to work internationally. This exercise aids students with a dilemma that they might encounter. Students are able to share their concerns and anxieties while trying to remedy Joe's problems. In addition to the previous questions, you may wish to have students spontaneously respond to the question about how to solve his problem with his mother, his family, and his guilt at being viewed as lacking motivation. He is living out other people's expectations, and has action anxiety. This is a good role play exercise. Joe can interact with his supervisor, the Human Resource department, and his mother. 294 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work THEY WANT ME TO GO TO SINGAPORE TO BE A MANAGER! Adapted from Connie Bowman, Defense Logistics Agency Joe Pratt is a manager for a major appliance manufacturer, Whirlwind Corp. His boss has just informed him that in 2 months he will be sent overseas to Singapore to head up marketing for the Washer/Dryer Division based there. His overseas assignment will last 2 years. His boss told him that he would be part of a management team of 4 managers from Germany, Singapore, and Japan. His boss also told him that he would send over the company's Overseas Assignment Orientation booklet and information about housing. If he had any other questions prior to his departure, Joe should call his boss or the Human Resource department. After the conversation with his boss, Joe didn't know what to think. He hadn't expected an overseas assignment. He has never been overseas and his boss didn't say anything about training. An overseas assignment was not really appealing to him and he could never understand why anyone would want to spend time living anywhere but the United States. He was also worried about what his family would think, since his mother was a senior manager in another city. Joe had secured the position without her assistance, yet he realizes that he has benefited by having such a visible name connected with her success. Joe is confused. He wanted to make a career with this company, but wonders if he has the motivation necessary. In addition, he doesn't want to disappoint his parents, since they, no doubt, will be thrilled with the advancement opportunity. 1. If you were Joe's supervisor, what information about job enrichment could you provide Joe? 2. What information about how jobs are viewed in Japan would benefit Joe in Singapore? 3. What other specific training information would be beneficial to Joe? Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work 295 EXTRA EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES The following alternative exercises to supplement the material in the textbook can be obtained from: Marcic, Dorothy, Seltzer, Joseph, & Vaill, Peter. Organizational Behavior: Experiences and Cases, 6th Ed. South Western College Publishing Company, 2001. Job Design Exercises. p. 185-189. Time: Part A – 30 minutes, Part B – 25 minutes. Purpose: To explore the dimensions of the job enrichment model and to consider how jobs can be redesigned. Emily Fife and Learning a Living. p. 191-194. Time: 60 minutes. Purpose: To consider job descriptions and job design under conditions of continual change and widespread interdependence of jobs. CASE QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS JOB DESIGN IMPLICATIONS OF FORD’S C3P SYSTEM 1. Using the job characteristics model, analyze and discuss the work design implications of Ford’s C3P system. The students should consult Figure 14.1 in responding to this question. The C3P system promotes skill variety, task identity, and task significance. Skill variety is enhanced because the C3P system promotes collaboration and provides the technical tools to do work in ways that were not feasible beforehand. As the case indicates, an engineer working on a project for a few hours in England is able to hand off the design to another engineer who works in Germany, who in turn works with another person in Australia. This interactive and collaborative capability accomplishes two additional things in terms of work design. First, there is a greater sense of task identity because employees are better able to see the “whole job” and to recognize their own role in that broader whole. Second, the C3P system enables employees to better recognize the complex interplay of the thousands of factors that go into the design, engineering, and manufacture of a vehicle. This can enhance task significance. Collectively, these elements enhance the extent to which Ford’s technical staff is able to experience their work as being meaningful. Also, work will more likely be perceived as meaningful when the workload is distributed effectively and when appropriate expertise is utilized. The C3P system enables Ford to do both. Autonomy and the resulting experienced responsibility for the outcomes of work are enhanced because the C3P system enables Ford employees throughout the world to have access to the information they need in order to do their jobs effectively. Additionally, the system enables the technical staff to have more control over how they are doing their jobs. 296 Chapter 14: Jobs and the Design of Work Shared information promotes feedback and the knowledge of actual results of work activities. Feedback and knowledge of results are enhanced as well through each vehicle team’s Web site. Here, team members can post questions and progress reports, note bottlenecks, and resolve quality issues that arise in production; thereby more feedback and more meaningful feedback become available to all team members. The personal and work outcomes for Ford employees include improved productivity and satisfaction. The technical staff is able to get more work done in less time. As a consequence, their personal satisfaction is increasing. In addition, there have been beneficial outcomes for the organization, including: the optimal use of resources from around the world for work collaboration; substantial savings due to the elimination of costly conflicts and mistakes; reduction in the amount of time it takes to get a new vehicle into full production; and the potential positive benefits for Ford’s working relationships with its suppliers. 2. Explain why technology can be an important consideration in work design. Technology refers to the tools, techniques, and knowledge for accomplishing work. Thus, technology is inherently involved in the design of work. Technology is a significant driving force in how work is done. Often, technology is an enabler of work. In other words, technology permits work to be accomplished in ways that it could not be done before. Technology can help to make work more efficient. Technology can also enable people to develop and use different skills. All of the aforementioned benefits were produced by Ford’s C3P system. Effective and efficient worldwide collaboration became possible. Technical employees had greater control over how they did their jobs, and had better access to the information they needed to do their jobs. As a consequence, costly mistakes were avoided and the time to get a vehicle into full production was reduced by 33 percent. 3. What useful lessons about work design can be derived from this case? Several useful lessons can be identified from the case. These lessons include the following: The changing needs of business affect not only what jobs need to be done but also how they are done. Technology, when appropriately used, can help enrich jobs and people’s work experiences. Technology permits the time shifting of work. Technology can be a very powerful tool for fostering information sharing and collaboration at work. While technology is a driving force in the design of work, it is not the only force. The capacities, characteristics, and needs of the human beings doing the work must be considered as well. Indeed, perhaps the most important lesson revolves around the necessity to consider the interface between technology and people in the design of work.