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 internet Extranet: extended intranets accessible 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 jobs. 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: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Skill variety Task identity Task significance Autonomy Feedback 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 directly. 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) 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 late 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 behavior. 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.