Critically discuss the development of job design theory and research and how this can provide guidance on the best practice f

Q1. Critically discuss the development of job design theory and research and how this can provide guidance on the best practice for designing jobs.

1.1 The positive side of the development of job design theory and research

A job design is the strategic organisation of a complex work procedure into departmental/ unit-based tasks required to work out the entire job. A job designed is basically involved in the efforts to organize tasks and responsibilities into single units that are meant to achieve laid objectives. According to a study by den Boer, van Vuuren and de Jong (2021), these units combine their efforts to add to the final and complete product. There exists a number of job designs because, a job design is specific to the systems, techniques and the procedures required in carrying of the specific job. It is also dependent on the expected relationships between the jobholders and their superiors. A transitioning company or organisation maybe improve or cut certain system of operation in their current job design so as to improve in the performance of the general organisation which represents the job redesign. Job redesign is meant to improve the current performance of the whole setting, say a company or an organisation.

Effective and efficient job designs are supposed to meet the specified qualification and requirements needed in certain stages of production (Oldham and Fried, 2016). The qualification noted then forms the basis of hiring of employees. It also brings forward the amount of work in specific stages and the intensity of the work therefore the compensation suitable for the employee on that stage. A well-designed job design should also enable the calculations of the probable profits expected through the implementation of the design. This is made possible through calculation of the gross output revenue expected and the profits that accrue from this revenue after the compensation of all the liabilities expected from the implemented job design.

Within the confines of an organization, a proper job design be able to sort the social together with the technical aspects of work. This means that the theory of job design absorbed or being implemented should clearly show the relationships among employees in terms of the supervision ease, managerial effectiveness and the subordinate employees work effectiveness. The job design outlines the expected flow of information between units and departments and from one employee to another at a personal level and according to the worker’s level of superiority, this points out the requirements expected from a job holder (Oldham and Fried, 2016). A proper job description should also outline the systematic structure of the technical aspects of the work. It should indicate the technological knowledge required in the operation of specific tasks within the work premises. The technical aspects show the skills needed for proper operation of specific tasks in the entire work environment. The technical aspects of the jobs available dictates the hiring process for employee competence in the job allocated.

Job designs are said by Oldham and Fried (2016) to be competitive advantages for an organization, meant to help achieve shareholder goals and other objectives. An effective job design is set to achieve certain goals such as motivation to the employees. A motivated team tends to be the most productive one. Motivation among the employees is needed since the tasks carried out in most jobs may become monotonous to the employee overtime, monotony advances to dullness among the employees which in turn results to low level of productivity. A job design is also set to be of advantage to the level of production of the entire organisation meaning that, the job design put in place should offer the best space and opportunity for maximum productivity. Maximum productivity means the success of the organization. Other goals meant to be achieved by a set job design may include ensuring the safety of the employees while working. Safety is an aspect enforced by the government hence must be followed. A job design also ensures there is improved team work among the people involved, it also stipulates clear lines of communication to ensure free and effective flow of information within the system. Employees benefits from effective job designs by individual skills improvement. Repetition of a similar task means that the skills applied by the employees are mastered overtime to produce professionals. The job design also serves the goal of cost minimization whereas giving maximum production.

Job design has been a subject of improvement overtime. It has grown through research studies conducted by earlier economist such as Adam Smith who led the aspect of division of labour. This idea was later supported by Charles Babbage in an attempt to show how these relate to organizational success. In line with their assertions, Chae and Choi (2018) also supported the idea of the breaking of the entire production process to smaller tasks given to particular groups along the linear production line. Modern organizations, including Henry Ford, practised some methods meant to improve the job simplification method further such as the incorporation of scientific methods in the flow of work. Adam and Charles suggested that production process should be broken into simple tasks and each of the task assigned to specific people.

The second theory used to explain the effective ways of formulating a job design is the theory of job enrichment. This theory puts into consideration the need for a business to make their tasks fun for the employees in order to make them more enthusiastic in tackling these tasks daily. According to Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl, and Maude (2017), the idea was mainly introduced by Herzberg as an attempt to explain the benefits of making the jobs challenging enough and having the capacity to involve the worker fully. Herzberg called out most of the businesses to set procedures that were highly interactive and offering maximum involvement of the workers which would in turn result to employees’ satisfaction from the jobs elevating their level of motivation.

Development of a job design that was incorporating the theory of job enrichment is further showed in another perspective by Zhou and Hoever (2014). The two introduced the circular and dynamic model of development of job design. This model was carrying a different idea from that of Taylor and Gilberth linear production model. From this model employees were encouraged to assume role adjustments during certain working periods. This method ensured that all employees could rotate tasks between each other meaning that their competence level was highly increased. This method promoted a very high level of the motivation within the employees due to the fun switching of tasks preventing monotony. This method promotes a modified version of job design mentioned by Pradhan (2020) in a process called job crafting. This method involved the employees choosing tasks and engagements on their own. Research has shown that this method positive impacts to the employees including job satisfaction, increased performance, higher commitment and work engagement.

The last theory that is used in explaining the job design development is the theory of job enlargement. This incorporates the idea of horizontal increment to the skills of employees of a business. This theory introduces the idea of having employees who are skilled fully to perform more than one task in the business setting. The theory is both beneficial to the business in terms of reduced operation cost and the general increase in production and to the employee in terms of higher number of skills that are able to earn an increase in the wages offered. When implemented in the right way the above theory is capable of increasing the chances of the business in attaining their turnover in time and increase in the total output from the business.

The possible negative side of development of job design theory and research

Some of the negative impacts of the theories used in the formulation of the job designs is the possible exhaustion that may be experienced by the employees who are involved in the role rotation in a production setting or the entire business processes. This can be experienced especially where the job design model incorporates a lot of ideas meant to adhere to the theory of job enlargement. Low level of skills in a particular employee may make them lose practical ability of promoting team work especially when the business procedure is built to rotate the roles handled by various workers (Zhou and George, 2001). This may result to a slowed production process or worse a production mistake in the line of production. Job enrichment methods may also fall short in the general production in that, the desired purpose of the job may be lost when the job undergoes changes to make it appealing and involving to the employees allocated to it.

1.3 The summary of the development of job design theory and research.

Putting the ideas together it is clearly noted that the entire job design process is governed by three theories which are tested and proven to form the best parameters in which the adopted job design serves the desired purpose which is the general increase in productivity of a firm while putting all other factors in the right and best condition to remain productive over and over again. It is noted that through the theories governing this process businesses are able to achieve systems that are fully beneficial to the m making them able to achieve their desired goals and completing their mission initial mission. A motivated team tends to be the most productive one. Motivation among the employees is needed since the tasks carried out in most jobs may become monotonous to the employee overtime, monotony advances to dullness among the employees which in turn results to low level of productivity. Therefore, a good job design is proven to the right conditions to a business to ensure that the business is successful in the long run.

2. How this can provide guidance on the best practice for designing jobs

2.1 The broad perspective theory for the development of job design theory to provide guidance on the best practice or designing jobs.

The job relevance theory is a broad perspective theory aimed at the spiritual satisfaction of employees and the continuous promotion of these employees in ensuring they are always motivated and their roles are satisfactory (Magnier-Watanabe, Benton, Uchida, and Orsini, 2019). This theory brings out the importance of a satisfactory working environment to the employees. It also indicates the importance of ensuring that the employees are well motivated always. A motivated employee is always hardworking cooperative and productive al together. Motivation is generally the absolute willingness of the employee to work on their tasks without complaining. It is the internal drive of the employees from within themselves to go to work and to work effectively for higher performance. Motivation and satisfaction are linked in that satisfactory tasks are always motivational to the employees performing them. Motivated employees add to the general success, profitability and the turnover realisation in companies. This makes it a vital point to the management in that they have to come up with the general job designs that proves to be both satisfactory and motivational to the employees, this way they increase the ability of the business to achieve its mission and reach the set goal since the workflow is smooth and uninterrupted.

Considering this theory, Managers and the HR departments should come up job designs with the best job design ideas, those that are effective in ensuring that the employees to their companies/ organisation are constantly motivated. The job designs should also prove the aspect of satisfactory working environment to the employees together with satisfactory methods involved in task attending (Kremer, Villamor, and Aguinis, 2019). To improve the motivation of the employees organisations are supposed to formulate job designs that show recognition of the individual employees input. When the employees are shown recognition of their input to the organisation they feel their importance to the work environment, this gesture grows to motivation that channels the employee to work even more. The organisations showed also introduce the use of incentives such as commission to the highest productive employees, Employees tend to be motivated to work harder when there is a gift given in return. This strategy can work great in the improvement and maintaining a high level of motivation among the employees. Companies and organizations can also adapt the role rotation procedures within the working environment, this rotation is aimed at ensuring that the workers experience different conditions and challenges through the working period. This is an effective method in ensuring that there is no monotony developed from working on the same task over and over again.

Frequent changing of the working stations ensures that the workers are challenged more often and experience different working conditions to keep them motivated all through (Magnier-Watanabe et al., 2019. This theory also puts the importance of ensuring that the job design agreed on offers a satisfactory environment to the workers, satisfaction of the workers goes hand in hand with motivation of the workers. Satisfaction of the workers increases their chances of motivation therefore, job designs chosen should be checked to promote a satisfactory environment to the workers involved. This can be achieved through ensuring of a healthy working place. Healthy working place is also a job design model promoted by (Day and Randell 2014) that ensures that the workers are operating on healthy working environment which is highly satisfactory to the workers especially when they know that their health is protected by their jobs altogether.

2.2 The second method for the development of job design theory to provide guidance on the best practice or designing jobs.

Job enlargement theory, is the second theory that has a great impact in the development of a job design (Alias et al., 2018). This theory focuses on the increase of the total number of task that a single worker is responsible for. This promotes the diversification of the skills owned by a single employee. This theory encourages employees going through educational procedures to increase their competency level. It is a method that is proven to work in the general increase of the employees’ satisfaction. However, this should be done carefully and thoroughly to ensure the employees involved are not only skilled but also capable of producing quality output in the tasks added to their current ones.

To promote job enlargement managers are supposed to incorporate methods that are capable of incorporating skill diversification among employees in the general job design. To do this the managers are supposed to adapt methods such as occasional education procedures provided to their work force. This can be achieved through incorporation of methods such as team building practises and other career growth opportunities. Job enlargement should also be highly considered in the structure of the design of the appropriate job design since it helps solve other problems that may accrue within the daily business operation. For example, a company that suffers from consistency in low motivation among the employees. Through incorporation of procedures that promotes job enlargement among the employees the business can promote work shuffles that are essential in solving low motivation among the employees. Job enlargement is also a highly effective method that benefits the entire organisation through lower operational cost and increased competency among the employees of the organization. These qualities instilled within the workers conduct works as assets to the business ensuring that there is timely realization of the set goals, maximum utilization of the available resources and achievement of the mission of the business.

Job enlargement should also be considered to make sure the job design designed is putting the needs of the employees into consideration. This is because considering this idea helps grow the entire knowledge base of the employees in operation. It offers great chances of the employees to acquire skills and other beneficial traits in their career development including increasing the earning capacity of these employees as a result of their increased professional grounds. Job enlargement increases the pool of activities that a single employee can choose from in case they enter the job-hunting environment or when they are interested in exploring other experiences in their career field. It can also offer benefits in the growth and development of the interpersonal skills within one employee. Through multiple cases of job rotation within a working environment present the involved employee with the opportunity to work and get involved with a number of other different employees which works great in the growth of the interpersonal skills and the general mastering of the sense of effective team work abilities.

2.3 The third method for the development of job design theory to provide guidance on the best practice or designing jobs.

The last theory is the job enrichment perspective. In this theory, the proponents offer a vital aspect that should be incorporated in the entire process of building an effective job procedure. It is a theory introduced by Herzberg and rates high in the improvement and maintaining of a high and healthy level of employee motivation (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl, and Maude, 2017). This theory considers the fact that a business should invest in making the jobs to be tended to fun and inviting to the employees. Herzberg insisted that the jobs should be set in a way that they are possessing the right level of challenge to the employees and are capable of maintaining the morale of the employees in tackling them. In other words, the jobs offered in an organisation should be fully satisfactory and fulfilling to the employees’ time spent. This is an important way to maintain the employees’ mood of motivation and the self-drive within them to tend to the jobs. Companies and organization should make the tasks they offer interactive to offer a healthy involvement of the employees tackling them. This theory ensures that the set job design is capable of increasing the knowledge base of the employees while increasing their responsibility level correspondingly. Expanding the content of a certain job gives the worker the chance of learning more from the job while in turn getting the right amount of challenge in the job for satisfaction and fulfilment.

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