Organizational Behavior 10e

Chapter 16: Work Design & Technology
 Technology in the workplace affects employee
behavior in a variety of ways…
 Continuous Improvement Processes
The goal is to continuously reduce/eliminate
variations from a set of standards to lower costs,
reduce errors and improve quality.
 Processes Reengineering
Start with a “clean sheet of paper” and rethink/re-design everything in terms of the
processes used in operations. Distinctive
competencies define what it is that an
organization does better than its competition
Technology (cont…)
Mass Customization
 Mass production: Using division of labor,
standardization, and automated processes to
manufacture products in large quantities.
 Mass customization: Processes that are flexible
enough to create products and services that are
individually tailored to individual customers (e.g.,
built to order products)
OB in an E-World
 E-commerce: the sales side of
electronic business
 E-business: the full breadth of
activities included in a successful
internet-based enterprise
 E-organization: a profit or
 Internet: a worldwide network of
interconnected computers.
 Intranets: an organization’s private
 Extranet: extended intranets
Selected Implications for Individual & Group Behavior
 Motivation:
– ex) “cyberloafing” = surfing non-job related sites
during formal work hours
 Ethics:
– ex) electronic surveillance
 Decision making (group):
– ex) team-based e-organizations and decision making
 Communication:
– ex) virtual meetings (e.g. WebEx)
 Politics/networking:
– ex) cyber-schmoozing
 Requisite Task Attributes Theory
Job complexity (variety, autonomy,
responsibility, knowledge & skills, required social
interaction, optional social interaction) relates to
satisfaction and absenteeism.
Why is this theory useful? We learned that
employees respond differently to different types
of jobs, a preliminary set of task attributes can be
assessed, and individual differences should be
considered in terms of employee reactions to
The Job Characteristics Model
 Identifies 5 job characteristics and their
relationship to personal and work outcomes.
The 5 core job dimensions (split as “high” or
“low” for each) are:
Skill variety
Task identity
Task significance
Job Characteristics Model
 The bottom line:
– people who work on jobs with high-core job
dimensions are….
– generally more motivated, satisfied and productive
than those who do not….
– he core job dimensions lead to personal and work
outcomes through “critical psychological states”
and “employee growth-need strength” and not
Social Information Processing (SIP) Model
 Employees adopt attitudes and behaviors about
their jobs (for better or worse) in response to the
social cues provided by others with whom they
have contact.
Work Redesign Options
 Job Rotation (or what many call cross-training)
The periodic shifting of a worker from one
task to another.
 Job Enlargement
The horizontal expansion of jobs.
 Job Enrichment
The vertical expansion of jobs (it increases
the degree to which employees control the
planning, execution and evaluation of his/her
Work Space Design
 Size (i.e., square feet per employee) - used to be
linked to status.
 Arrangement – (i.e., distance between people and
facilities – you tend to interact more with those
who are close to you in terms of where they work)
 Privacy – (i.e., the presence or absence of walls,
partitions, cubes - about 40 million US workers
work in cubicles),
 Feng Shui – (i.e., an ancient Chinese system for
arranging a person’s surroundings so they are in
harmony/balance with nature. Goal = maximize
“Chi” or life force)
Work Schedule Options
 Flextime (i.e. flexible work hours) workers must
be at their jobs during “core” hours but can either
start early and leave early or start late and leave
 Job Sharing (i.e. having 2 or more employees
split a 40 hour work week). This can be done by
splitting each day (i.e. working from 8am-12noon
and another employee works 1pm to 5pm) or by
splitting the week (i.e. working Monday thru Wed
and another employee works Wed thru Friday).
 Telecommuting – working from home via a
computer linked to the office. This is often
associated with a “virtual” office.
Summary and Implications for Managers
 Technology is changing people’s jobs and their work
 Quality management can increase employee stress as
individuals discover performance expectations are
constantly being increased.
 Reengineering is eliminating millions of jobs and
completely reshaping the jobs of those who remain.
 Mass customization require employees to learn new skills
and accept increased responsibilities.
 E-organizations can create distractions for workers and is
changing communication within organizations
 An understanding of work design can help managers
design jobs that positively affect employee motivation.
 Work conditions and design variables can directly influence
employee satisfaction
 Alternative work schedule options have grown in popularity
and are important tools in changing workplaces.