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Job Design

Herzberg theory of individual job design

What is job design?

Job design is the organisation of tasks and the structuring of jobs in a way that
provides satisfaction for job holders and increases their effectiveness.

Well designed jobs

The aim should be to design jobs so that individuals can see that their efforts make a
significant contribution to an organisation in a way that is visible to them. Job-holders
should also have some discretion and control over the timing, sequence and pace of
their work and be given some responsibility for results. Characteristics of well
designed jobs include:

 feedback on performance
 opportunities for learning, problem solving and individual development
 an opportunity to contribute to decisions and objectives affecting jobs
 clear goals that provide some challenge
 provision of sufficient resources (e.g. training, information, equipment and

Re-designing jobs

It is good practice to consult employees and their representatives about proposed job
changes. Job designers should analyse jobs by finding out what people actually do,
the difficulties and problems they experience and their expectations. The aim is to
find a satisfactory match between the needs of individual job-holders and the needs of
their employers and colleagues.

The effects of job design

Job design can help to improve motivation and commitment by involving individuals
in planning the way their jobs are done. It can include tasks at a higher level, at the
same level but with more variety, and tasks that are rotated among employees to
prevent repetition. In addition, re-designing jobs can often change the structure of an
organisation as employees take on more individual responsibility leading to a
reduction in the number of tiers of management.

Traditional views on job design and work organization

Two basic assumptions dominated early thinking about the scientific management
approach to the design of jobs and work organization.

First Assumption - Management

Management can be most effective if it devises rules and procedures to govern the
way in which the task is to be undertaken. Management is assumed to be more
effective than labor at devising methods for executing the work and then at planning
and organizing. By breaking the work down into simple elements;

 the training of workers is clearly simplified

 workers are more easily substituted, one for another
 supervision is made easier as it is apparent when workers are doing something
that is not part of the specified task.

Second Assumption - Workers

Human beings are rational economic beings. The prime goal is assumed to be
monetary and consequently reward systems which relate pay levels to output are seen
as likely to result in maximum output.

As such, humans will examine a situation and identify a course of action likely to
maximize their self interest and act accordingly.

All that is required to maximize output, from the organizations perspective, is to hire
the right people, train them properly and construct an appropriate reward system. If
the work can be paced, say be a machine, a worker can develop a natural rhythm and

Some research findings

In the 1950's Louis Davis reported a survey of job design practices in large industrial
organizations in the USA. The study looked at low to moderately skilled jobs,
assembly line, packing, inspection etc.

Considerable variation in policies towards job design were noted and in the
responsibilities of job design. In some companies industrial engineers were
responsible. In others, personnel and in others supervisors. Overall, no systematic
approach was noted or that any alternative principles were being evaluated. The
primary objective set in each instance was the minimization of costs of performing a

Criteria used in job design from the study included:

 Economic considerations
o the desire to minimize costs
 Technical considerations
o relating to process requirements
 Time and Space
o limitations imposed by time and space
 Skill requirements
o availability of labor with the right skills

 Machinery
o equipment needed
 Industrial relations
o management / union agreements relating to staffing levels and wages
o traditions, customs and norms of the plants

A better way?

All too often in our post–industrial societies, despite much research on what
constitutes a productive, rewarding work environment, examples of counter
productive organizational environments can be all too easily found.

Job designers would appear to have ignored the psychological and social aspects of
work to the detriment of the organization, the workforce and society as a whole.
Opportunities (and the benefits flowing from) the development of problem solving
and other skills in employees, at all levels, are being squandered.

For instance, high levels of task rationalization are associated with high levels of
boredom, which in turn is associated with job dissatisfaction and counter productive
worker behavior. (It should be noted that such jobs have some appeal to some

Research, some of which is described on this site, indicates that there are no clear
rules to design jobs. It can be said, though, that people bring a diverse range of skills
and abilities to the workplace, together with a diverse range of experiences,
aspirations and expectations.

The task facing responsible organizations would therefore be to strike a balance

between the needs of the organization to achieve it's goals and the creation of a
working environment which results in the job satisfaction for employees.

Early attempts to develop new approaches to job design

During and immediately after the second world war American writers, particularly,
were questioning the relationship between job and organization design and

It was being recognized that difficulties arise in the selection of personnel if only
those able to tolerate and work well in simple, highly repetitive jobs are to be

Job Enlargement

As early as 1950 in the USA job rotation and job enlargement were being both
advocated and tested as means for overcoming boredom at work with all its associated

In an early case example IBM introduced changes to machine operators' jobs to

include machine setting and inspection. In addition they introduced other wide-

ranging changes in both the production system and the role of foremen and

It is less than clear just how successful changes of this type have been in practice.
Undoubtedly management in certain circumstances can benefit from the increased
flexibility of the labor.

However, workers often expect higher payment to compensate for learning these other
jobs and for agreeing to changes in working practices. The new jobs are often only a
marginal improvement in terms of the degree of repetition, the skill demands and the
level of responsibility; as a result workers have not always responded positively to
such change. Job enlargement schemes may not be feasible, e.g. in motor vehicle
assembly, without a major change in the production facilities.

The concepts of both job rotation and enlargement do not have their basis in any
psychological theory. However, the next generation of attempts to redesign jobs
emerging from the USA developed from the researches of Frederick Herzberg. During
the 1950's and 1960's Herzberg developed his 'two factor' theory of motivation.

Job Enrichment

In this theory he separated 'motivators' from 'hygiene' factors. The hygiene factors
included salary, company policies and administration as well as supervision. They
were seen as potential sources of dissatisfaction but not of positive motivation.

Another set of factors including achievement, recognition, responsibility,

advancement, growth and the work itself were postulated as the 'real' motivators.

From this theory Herzberg developed a set of principles for the enrichment of jobs as

 removing some controls while retaining accountability;

 increasing personal accountability for work;
 assigning each worker a complete unit of work with a clear start and end point;
 granting additional authority and freedom to workers;
 making periodic reports directly available to workers rather than to supervisors
 the introduction of new and more difficult tasks into the job;
 encouraging the development of expertise by assigning individuals to
specialized tasks.

Herzberg's Checklist

Herzberg's other major contribution to the development of ideas in the area of job
design was his checklist for implementation. This is a prescription for those seeking
success in the enrichment of jobs:

 select those jobs where technical changes are possible without major expense;
 job satisfaction is low;
 performance improvement is likely with increases in motivation;

 hygiene is expensive;
 examine the jobs selected with the conviction that changes can be introduced;
 'green light' or 'brainstorm' a list of possible changes;
 screen the list (red lighting) for hygiene suggestions and retain only ideas
classed as motivators;
 remove the generalities from the list retaining only specific motivators;
 avoid employee involvement in the design process;
 set up a controlled experiment to measure the effects of the changes;
 anticipate an early decline in performance as workers get used to their new

Job enrichment, then, aims to create greater opportunities for individual achievement
and recognition by expanding the task to increase not only variety but also
responsibility and accountability. This can also include greater worker autonomy,
increased task identity and greater direct contact with workers performing servicing


Whilst job enrichment is based on a theory resulting from research carried out by
Herzberg and his colleagues, the research is not itself without its critics. Later
research has not always produced such neat results. Also the focus of the approach is
the individual job and only limited consideration is given to the wider context in
which the job is carried out, particularly social groupings.

Some examples of job enrichment have been considered by the various parties
involved as highly successful continuing over many years. Results reported include
greater productivity as well as a more satisfied and better paid work force.

However, the approach has limitations, including its inapplicability in certain

situations, the lack of opportunities in others and the emphasis upon management
decision at the design stage. Nevertheless the principles advocated in the design of
jobs have obvious merit.

Open systems approach

The approaches to the design of jobs considered to this point have taken as their focus
the individual job. We have already identified some of the weaknesses of this type of

At the same time that job redesign techniques were being developed and implemented
in the USA progress was being made, particularly in Europe and Scandinavia, on the
development of the socio-technical systems approach where the focus of attention is
at the level of the working group and the aim is to develop a match between the needs
of the group and the organization in relation to the technology.

Organization as an open system

This approach is based upon the concept of the organization as an open system with
the primary work group as a subsystem of the total organization. Organizations can be
compared to other living systems such as biological cells in that they are engaged in
active transactions with the environment

Raw materials or customers form the input to the organizational system and finished
goods or services form the output. The environment through competition, the
influence of suppliers, and customers and government legislation will all exert
pressure on the organization to comply with certain rules and organize in certain
ways. The changing economic situation, changing values in society, new alternative
products or services, and many other factors demand adaptation within the
organization if it is to survive.

Since these factors have an impact on the internal design and functioning of an
organization it is important that the organization be aware of environmental changes
when seeking an optimal design of its social and technical systems.

Guiding Principles

A sociotechnical systems approach to designing organizations is based upon a set of

guiding propositions:

 The design of the organization must fit its goals.

 Employees must be actively involved in designing the structure of the
 Control of variances in production or service must be undertaken as close to
their source as possible.
 Subsystems must be designed around relatively self-contained and
recognizable units of work.
 Support systems must fit in with the design of the organization.
 The design should allow for a high quality of working life.
 Changes should continue to be made as necessary to meet the changing
environmental pressures.

Motivation Factors

It has been suggested that four categories of job characteristic are significant in terms
of motivation and performance:

 responsible autonomy- the group's acceptance of responsibility for the

production cycle, output rate, quality, and quantity of output;
 adaptability;
 variety;
 participation.

Autonomous behavior includes the self-regulation by the group of work content,

critical self-evaluation of work group performance, self-adjustment to cope with
changes, and participation in goal setting.


The socio-technical systems approach is not without its limitations. Whilst many
advantages can result from focusing on the work group rather than the individuals and
their jobs, autonomous group working does not seem to have widespread appeal.

 Certainly the roles of both supervision and specialist advisers are considerably
affected and in some cases eliminated.
 Movement of personnel between work groups with high levels of autonomy
may be difficult, hence removing some of management's flexibility.
 Difficulties are often experienced in implementation in existing work
 A participative design process is not acceptable in many organizations and can
be very time-consuming.
 Alternative ways of organizing work are not always apparent where existing
technology has to be employed.
 Management are often not prepared to take the risk of introducing radically
different approaches to organizing work alongside other changes which
already have a high element of disruption and associated risk.

New model of job design: motivating

employees' performance
The Authors

Pooja Garg, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian

Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttaranchal, India

Renu Rastogi, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian

Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttaranchal, India

Purpose – The paper aims to identify the key issues of job design research and
practice to motivate employees' performance.

Design/methodology/approach – The conceptual model of Hackman and Oldham's

job characteristics has been adopted to motivate employees' performance.

Findings – The paper finds that a dynamic managerial learning framework is required
in order to enhance employees' performance to meet global challenges.

Practical implications – Traditional outcomes will certainly remain central to the

agenda. But some wider developments are to be incorporated within organizational
systems so as to motivate employees for better performance.

Originality/value – The paper may be of value to researchers and practitioners in the
management development field for offering enhanced jobs to employees leading to
improved performance.

Article Type:

Conceptual paper


Job design; Motivation (psychology); Learning; Organizational performance.


Journal of Management Development








Copyright ©

Emerald Group Publishing Limited




There is an established body of knowledge supporting the idea that certain jobs and
goal setting can enhance performance. This paper focuses on motivating performance
through job design. It is experienced that well designed jobs can have a positive
impact on both employee satisfaction and the quality of performance. In the present
paper, it is proposed that a well-defined job would enhance motivation, satisfaction
and performance of the employees. Thus, for both academicians and practitioners, job

design takes on special importance in today's human resource management. It is
essential to design jobs so that stress can be reduced, motivation can be enhanced, and
satisfaction of employees and their performance can be improved so that
organizations can effectively compete in the global marketplace.

Initially, the field of organizational behavior paid attention only to job enrichment
(JE) approaches to job design. Now, job design has taken a broader perspective, with
various dimensions such as job enrichment (JE), job engineering (JEng), quality of
work life (QWL), sociotechnical designs, the social information processing approach
(SIPA) and the job characteristics approach to job design. The proposed model
recognizes certain job characteristics that contribute to certain psychological states,
and that the strength of the employee's need for growth has an important moderating

The aim of this paper is to identify the key issues of job design research and practice,
particularly in relation to higher-level jobs. To provide the context for the account that
follows, we first take a backward glance at job design. We then briefly describe the
approaches to job design with emphasis on the job characteristics approach to job
design in detail, followed by a literature review of the job characteristics approach.
Later we present the proposed model of job design, and its future implications or

Job design and its approaches are usually considered to have begun with scientific
management in the year 1900. Pioneering scientific managers such as Taylor (1947),
Gilbreth (1911), and Gilbreth and Gilbreth (1917) systematically examined jobs with
various techniques. They suggested that task design might be the most prominent
element in scientific management.

With respect to the design of individual jobs, the first major theory was that of
Herzberg and his colleagues (Herzberg et al., 1959). Their two-factor theory
distinguished between two types of factors, namely motivators, which are intrinsic to
the work itself (e.g. achievement, recognition, and responsibility), and hygiene
factors, which are extrinsic to the work (e.g. work conditions, pay, and supervision).
The proposition was that the hygiene factors are absolutely necessary to maintain the
human resources of an organization. According to Hertzberg's theory, only a
challenging job has the opportunity for achievement, recognition, advancement and
growth that will motivate personnel.

Hackman and Oldham's (1976) job characteristics model (JCM), superseded the two-
factor theory. This identifies five core job characteristics, namely:

1. skill variety;
2. task identity;
3. task significance;
4. autonomy; and
5. feedback.

The core job characteristics are followed by three critical psychological states,

1. experienced meaningfulness;
2. experienced responsibility; and
3. knowledge of results.

In turn, the critical psychological states are accountable for increased work
satisfaction, internal work motivation, performance and reduced absence and
employee turnover. The model assumes that autonomy and feedback are more
important than the work characteristics, and that individuals with higher growth need
strength (i.e. desire for challenges and personal development) will respond more
positively to enriched jobs than others. To this end, an extension to job design has
been proposed that would help organizations and employees to survive in the
turbulent marketplace.

There was substantial interest from researchers and practitioners in job design during
the 1900s. Hackman et al. (1975), conducted a study and claimed that people on
enriched jobs are definitely more motivated and satisfied by their jobs. Another study
conducted by Griffin (1989) on 1,000 tellers from 38 banks of a large holding
company found from the job design intervention that employees perceive meaningful
changes and tend to recognize those changes over time. In addition to this, a meta-
analysis of the job characteristics model (Fried and Ferris, 1987) found general
support for the model and for its effects on motivation and satisfaction and
performance outcome.

Adler (1991) found that systems in which employees reported higher perceptions of
skill variety, task significance, autonomy, and feedback reported higher levels of
satisfaction and internal work motivation. Champoux (1991) theorized the
relationships that growth need strength moderates between the core job characteristics
and the critical psychological states and affective responses. Moreover, Dodd and
Ganster (1996) examined the interactive relationship between feedback, autonomy
and variety by manipulating the characteristics in lab. In their study, Arce (2002)
found that the reward from outside activities is affected by the performance on inside
activity. The study provides a rationale for the existence of synergies between
different activities. Loher et al. 1985) found the relation between job characteristics
and job satisfaction and also found that the relation was stronger for employees high
in growth need strength (GNS). Renn and Vandenberg (1995) studied the strongest
support for the job characteristic model that allowed the core job dimensions to have
direct and indirect effects on personal and work outcomes. Another study conducted
by Morrison et al. (2005) found that job designs that provide for high levels of
employee control also provide increased opportunities for the development and
exercise of skill. Also, mediational influence of perceived skill utilization on job
control job satisfaction has been observed. Love and Edwards (2005) concluded that
perceived work demands, job control and social support through job design leads to
high productivity. Sokoya (2000) found in his study that the level of job satisfaction is
determined by a combination of jobs, work and personal characteristics. Rotating
managers to different jobs adds the benefit of task variety, resulting in increased
performance of employees. Bassey (2002) observed in his study that skills, task
identity, task significance, autonomy, feedback, job security and compensation are
important factors for the motivation of employees. Thus, the research done in this
field has created virtuous circles for more research and practice.

Approaches to job design

The approaches to job design have been postulated in such a manner that they
indirectly affect an employee's level of motivation. The approaches to job design have
worked in different perspectives for various organizational developments. These
approaches are: job engineering (J.Eng.); job enrichment (JE); quality of work life
(QWL); social information processing approach (SIPA) and job characteristics.

Job enrichment (JE)

The technique entails enriching the job, which refers to the inclusion of greater variety
of work content, requiring a higher level of knowledge and skill, giving workers
autonomy and responsibility in terms of planning, directing, and controlling their own
performance, and providing the opportunity for personal growth and meaningful work

Job engineering (JEng)

The scientific management approach evolved into what is now generally called job
engineering. It is closely associated with cybernation and sophisticated computer
applications, computer assisted design (CAD), and human-machine interactions. In
fact, it has been the dominant aspect of job design analysis.

Quality of work life (QWL) and socio-technical design

The overriding purpose of quality of work life is to change the climate at work so that
the human-technological-organizational interface leads to a better quality of work life.

Social information processing approach (SIPA)

The social information processing approach to job design suggests that individual
needs, task perceptions, and reactions are socially constructed realities. The process
includes choice, revocability, publicness, explicitness, social norms and expectations,
and external priming, which combine with social information (from others and the
organizational environment) and influence the jobholders' perceptions, attitudes and

The job characteristics approach to job design

To meet the limitations of Herzberg's approach to job enrichment (which he prefers to

call orthodox job enrichment (OJE), Hackman and Oldham (1976) developed the
most widely recognized model of job characteristics, as shown in Figure 1.

Basically, this model recognized certain job characteristics that contribute to certain
psychological states and that the strength of employees' need for growth has an
important moderating effect. The core job characteristics are summarized below:

 Skill variety. This refers to the extent to which the job requires the employee
to draw from a number of different skills and abilities as well as upon a range
of knowledge.
 Task variety. This refers to whether the job has an identifiable beginning and
end or how complete a module of work the employee performs.
 Task significance. This involves the importance of the task. It involves both
internal significance (i.e. how important the task is to the organization) and
external significance (i.e. how proud employees are to tell their relatives,
friends, and neighbours what they do and where they work).
 Autonomy. This refers to job independence. How much freedom and control
employees have to perform their job, for example, schedule their work, make
decisions or determine the means to accomplish the objectives.
 Feedback. This refers to objective information about progress and
performance that can come from the job itself, from supervisors or from any
other information system.

Critical psychological states can be summarized as follows:

 Meaningfulness. This cognitive state involves the degree to which employees

perceive their work as making a valued contribution, as being important and
 Responsibility. The degree to which the employee feels personally accountable
for the results of the work they do.
 Knowledge of results. The degree to which the employee knows and
understands, on a continuous basis, how effectively they perform their job
(Figure 2).

Diagnosing and measuring job scope

There are several ways in which the Hackman-Oldham model can be used to diagnose
the degree of job scope that job possesses. More systematically, Hackman and
Oldham developed a questionnaire, The Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) (Hackman and
Oldham, 1975) to analyze jobs. The questions on this survey yield a quantitative score
that can be used to calculate an overall measure of job enrichment, or what is
increasingly called “job scope”. For this, the motivational potential score (MPS) is
calculated. The formula for this is: Equation 1 Besides this, the JDS also measures
some supplementary job dimensions (feedback from others, dealing with others),
experienced psychological states (meaningfulness of work, responsibility for work,
knowledge of results), affective responses to the job (general satisfaction, internal
work motivation, growth satisfaction), context satisfactions (pay satisfaction, security
satisfaction, social satisfaction, supervisory satisfaction), individual growth need
strength (GNS), and MPS. The MPS scores can range from 1 to 343. The average
score is about 125.

Towards a proposed model of job design

An elaborated model of job design has been proposed considering the designing of
job at individual and group level. The proposal has been made on the following

Antecedents and expanded job characteristics

Various factors influence and constrain the choice of job design. Such factors can be
internal to the organization, such as style of management, technology, organizational
design, workplace spirituality or high performance improvement. Factors can also be
external, such as environmental uncertainty, available technology and labor market.
Thus, considering the external and internal factors, it is important in many ways to
manipulate job characteristics. This can be done, for example, by removing
demarcation barriers by running management development programmes (MDPs),
promoting cultural changes or conducting behavior modification programmes. For
this, technology and job design need to come together to deliver excellent services.
Thus, in a well-defined circumstance, it is reasonable to assume that individuals might
mould their job characteristics to fit their individual abilities and personalities.

Moreover, environmental uncertainties such as downsizing and layoffs make it vital in

many ways to manipulate the available human resources by considering them as the
social capital of the organization. For this, managers must initiate and develop
relationships among individuals, organizations and communities. Managers must
initiate and develop social capital with three aspects:

1. the structural dimension, which concerns the overall pattern of relationships

found in organizations;
2. the relational dimension, which concerns the nature of the connections
between individuals in an organization; and
3. the cognitive dimension, which concerns the extent to which employees within
a social network share a common perspective or understanding (Nahapiet and
Ghosal, 1998).

The creation of social capital assists in solving problems of coordination, reduces

transaction costs, and facilitates the flow of information between and among
employees. It also facilitates collective procession of work-related activities, growth
in teamwork, collective representations, and collective emotional experience, that is,
tuning one's own emotional state to that of another person or work group, reflecting
joint activities, common goals, norms, and values. Consistent with this notion, social
capital directs high internal motivation leading to high performance and making
employees more successful in achieving goals in comparison to organizations that
have less capital.

As we already know that technology has become the lifeblood of every organization,
it is vital to make the optimum use of available technology. Technologies like e-
commerce and e-business have become buzzwords in every organization and have
affected life in the workplace. With the introduction of e-commerce, transactions and
dealings are being undertaken on the internet, enhancing the job profile of employees.
Similarly, e-business has a full breadth of activities, including the development of
strategies for running internet-based companies, improving communication between
employees and customers, and coordinating design and production electronically. The
resulting increased level of motivation leads to high performance in employees. Thus,
with such forms of technological advances, employees can meet two types of
cognitive demands that often emerge in manufacturing settings:

1. attention demands; and
2. problem-solving demands.

Attention demands occur as a result of increased vigilance requirements (Van Colt,

1985), and problem-solving demands occur because of the need for fault prevention
and active diagnosis of errors (Dean and Snell, 1991). Moreover, traditional job
characteristics such as job autonomy, task variety and feedback are likely to be key
factors. Feedback is one of the salient features within modern settings, especially
given the prevalence of electronic performance monitoring (EPM). This provides
accurate, fair and timely feedback that can help employees cope with work demands.
Others have suggested serious downsides, such as reduced privacy and increased
workload (Carayon, 1993), but employees can perceive EPM positively if there is
high trust and a supportive culture.

Another element of job design concerns the emotional demands of work. There can
clearly be positive benefits of emotional displays for organizations. Positive
emotional displays control the exchanges with customers or clients, and hence lead to
customer retention. For this, autonomy would enable the individual to enable to
control their exposure to emotional demands.

A further development necessary in job design is growth in teamwork or considering

group-level work characteristics in a more systematic manner. Thus, this means
focusing on aspects that are the function of groups, such as the design of cohesion
among members, team composition, and interdependency and shared knowledge
structures. This will result in collective representations, which are the components of
a system of knowledge, opinion and behavioral norms originating from social
experience. This will also lead to collective emotional experience, that is, tuning one's
own emotional state to that of another person or work group, reflecting joint activities,
common goals, values and norms.

Our discussion now moves towards the internal factors of the organization that play a
vital role in motivating the performance of employees. These factors are:

 human resource management;

 ergonomics;
 organizational culture;
 leadership style;
 human performance improvement (HPI); and
 workplace spirituality.

As we already know that HR or personnel management is an essential part of every

manager's responsibility, thus managers must consider employees as the most valued
asset of an organization. To promote novel thoughts and ideas, a proper blend of HR
strategy and job design is required. There should be appropriate manpower planning.
Employees must be selected according to the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are
apt for to the job to be performed. Apart from this, employees must be given proper
training so as to enhance their levels of knowledge, which will motivate them to
perform better as they will be in a better position to meet global challenges.
Alterations must also be made to organizational policies to consider employee
benefits so that employees benefit from contributing to achieve organizational goals.

Employees must be evaluated annually on the basis of their performance, and
employees who perform well must be delegated with increased responsibility and
recognition, leading to an increased level of motivation. Finally, interactional levels
must be increased, with the creation of informal groups so as to meet social demands
and motivate employees in the collective representation of organizations.

With increased innovation, downsizing and lay-offs are taking place, and to make the
optimum use of labour, flexibility must be induced in the job profile of employees.
Flexible schedules, compressed work schedules, job sharing, and telecommuting must
be allowed within organizations so to make optimum use of time and labour, resulting
in increased productivity and overall performance. Apart from bringing flexibility to
working hours, employees must be encouraged to produce novel and thoughtful ideas
so as to solve various organizational problems and make their jobs more interesting,
involving, and personally challenging, and hence leading to an increase in intrinsic
motivation. This motivation in turns transforms potential into creative ideas, which
fosters fair and constructive judgment of ideas and sharing of information. As well as
fostering creativity within organizations, variable performance-linked pay (VPLP)
must be introduced within organizations, including piece-rate plans, wage incentives,
sharing, bonuses and gain-sharing. With the introduction of such programs in
organizations, performances are improved and the motivational level of employees is
also increased. Also, such programs recognize contributions, and low performers find
ways to increase their pay, and are hence motivated to perform better.

Another aspect that has been discussed is ergonomics, which plays a vital role in
designing jobs and influencing the motivational levels of employees. To sustain the
workforce, it has become important to ensure a hazard-free and safe environment, and
it has been embraced by managers that a safe working environment can result in
greater efficiency and productivity. Jobs must be designed in such a manner that
musculoskeletal disorders do not happen. Tools and equipment must be designed with
the worker in mind and for the job being performed. Mini-breaks or coffee breaks
must be given to employees so that body parts are not over-exerted. Production
quotas, excessive supervision, machine-paced work and other pressures must be
avoided so as to reduce musculoskeletal injuries. For this, work rotation must be
encouraged so as to reduce exposure to ergonomic hazards: performing a variety of
tasks can result in high performance. Apart, from this, the most significant aspect of
designing jobs ergonomically is that there should be complete involvement of workers
and unions regarding how work should be organized and structured.

On the whole, we can say that when jobs are designed ergonomically, there is overall
interaction of technology, work, and human beings. That is, the involvement of
anatomy, physiology and psychology is complete, as the designing of jobs done on
these basic human sciences results in the most productive use of human capabilities,
and the maintenance of human health and well-being. The contribution of anatomy
lies in improving the physical fit between employees and jobs: that is, excessive
forces are avoided. The human physiology sets standards for an acceptable physical
work rate, workload, and nutrition requirements. Finally, psychology is concerned
with aiding the cognitive fit between employees and the jobs they perform, which
results in appropriate decision-making and action. With this fit there is sustenance of
an organization's workforce, lower absenteeism, increased productivity, reduced
operating costs and enhanced performance.

Knowledge management (KM) is another novel discipline that has emerged as one of
the major dimensions in improving the performance of employees. In the present
scenario of turbulent competition, with the management of human resources, it has
become vital in many aspects to manage the available knowledge for meeting the
organizational goals and demands. Knowledge in the perspective of job design is
human-based: that is, it is brainpower, experience, skills and competence. KM
involves the creation of knowledge and leveraging knowledge in the decision-making
process. KM involves human and social interaction, where the available knowledge is
mentally processed, interpreted, and applied at the workplace. For this, an employee
has to be motivated to unleash their knowledge, abilities and skills for the
achievement of organizational goals. Apart from this, for the purpose of managing
knowledge and motivating employees for high performance, employees need to be
psychologically empowered down the hierarchy so as to perform their job on their
own. Free and informal interactions must be encouraged between managers and
employees to share the available knowledge. With this sharing of knowledge,
employees are highly motivated to perform better in rational decision-making. Today,
the emergence of HRM-TQM has created joint consultative committees (JCCs) where
management and employees form a task committee to share the available information
to generate ideas and innovative business plans (Anand, 2001). Thus, the system
should be created in a fashion that enables the dissemination, sharing and creation of
knowledge, encouraging the participative management of employees, leading to
increased levels of motivation in employees.

Another aspect that has been discussed in reference to job design is HPI (Swanson,
1999). This is the systemic and systematic approach to identify barriers that prevent
people from achieving top performance, solving performance problems, and
improving opportunities in the workplace. This process involves five fundamental

1. Performance analysis. This aims at the understanding and validation of

perceived performance problems. A detailed assessment of performance is
carried out and appropriate interventions are made so as to increase the
performance of employees.
2. Root-cause analysis. This underlines the causes of performance problems such
as lack of complete information; lack of environmental support; lack of
incentives or rewards, skills, knowledge, and attitudes, motivation and
expectations; and individual capacity. Identification of any root cause leads to
the construction of an appropriate strategy, thereby enhancing the performance
of the employees as well as that of the organization.
3. Intervention selection and design. At this level, the nature of the problem and
its root cause are assessed, and the selection of an intervention or a
combination of interventions is required. At this stage, instructional
interventions are designed to promote knowledge and skill acquisition, small
group activities and workshops are organized, and training is imparted through
various media (distance learning, computer-based and video-based). In
addition, on-the-job training (OJT) is facilitated for knowledge and skill
mastery in the environment, hence motivating employees towards better
performances to meet performance gaps. Moreover, non-instructional
interventions are also designed which include personnel selection, incentive
systems, cultural change initiatives, knowledge management, and intellectual

capital management. With these interventions, employees are under complete
assessments which motivate employees to improve their performance for the
achievement of organizational goals.
4. Implementation. This adequate resources, change management strategy and
business processes and procedures to increase organizational effectiveness.
5. Evaluation. This involves interpretation of organizational outcomes. This
involves evaluation of the various interventions made for improving
performance in the workplace, to decide whether to terminate or continue an
intervention and to study the impact of decision-making and business planning
and how far the business plans have or have not been supportive of
organizational learning. Hence, with these interventions, we can keep pace
with the changes occurring in the organizational landscape.

Finally, we come to the most important aspect of our design and that is leadership
style and organizational culture. Leaders play a vital role in motivating the
performance of employees. Leaders are the only source of trust in employees that
managers are trustworthy, benevolent and prefer fairness in work processes. Leaders
motivate people to follow a participative design of work in which they are responsible
for controlling and coordinating their work, hence making them responsible for their
performance. But this is feasible only when there is openness and trust between
leaders and employees (Tanner, 1998).

In the context of leadership style, another stream of research has emerged that has
focused on transformational leadership and transactional leadership styles. Although
both forms of leadership are apt for any organization, transformational leadership
style is more suitable as the leader of a particular group pays more attention to the
concerns and needs of individual employees, and creates awareness among employees
to look at old problems in new ways. They motivate and inspire employees towards
the achievement of organizational goals by providing vision and a sense of mission
among employees and also induce intellectual stimulation, which opens vistas for
employees in terms of career development and new ways to make enhance their

Finally there is organizational culture, which involves the socialization process,

psychological empowerment, and workplace spirituality. Motivating employees
towards high performance is very much influenced by the prevalence of the culture in
the organization. Socialization must be induced within organizations: this can be
achieved through social interaction between employees and employers, where the
information gathered is easily shared and disseminated. Also, employees have the
chance of emotional release, creating a culture of trust and openness.

Last comes workplace spirituality (Ashmos and Duchon, 2000), which recognizes that
employees have both a mind and a spirit and seek to find meaning and purpose in
their work, and a desire to connect with other human beings and be part of a
community, hence making their jobs more meaningful and motivating employees to
perform at a high level with a view to personal and social development.

Thus, the proposed model of job design, created with a view towards motivating
employees to higher performance, will definitely help in achieving organizational
goals with full zest and will definitely lead to proactive outcomes or performance.


The use of available resources and available technology along with various training
programs will definitely lead to increased productivity and increased levels of
motivation at individual level, group level, and social level. Also, considering the
labour market on the basis of variable-pay programs and flexible schedules will
definitely lead to heightened motivation and productivity, which in return leads to the
creation of social capital, assisting in meeting the structural, relational, and cognitive
demands of the organization.

Designing jobs under consideration of internal organizational factors, it can be seen

that following appropriate management strategies will help in the creation of
opportunities for career development, skill acquisition and creativity for employees.
Performance evaluations will help employees to know their levels of motivation and
make efforts to improve them. Moreover, designing jobs ergonomically will help in
the creation of safe working conditions, avoiding musculoskeletal injuries and
awkward postures. In other words, the involvement of anatomy, physiology, and
psychology in designing jobs ergonomically will lead to high performance and
reduced levels of stress in employees.

Knowledge management will also lead to proactive outcomes or performance. Once

knowledge dissemination, utilization and acquisition are required in a linear fashion,
learning organizations can be created where novel ideas and thoughts are developed,
interpreted, and implemented and knowledge is transformed throughout the system
with the objective of achieving organizational goals efficiently and creating autonomy
in performing jobs, hence motivating employees towards high performance. Finally,
following a transformational leadership style in motivating employees will definitely
lead to collective representations and collective emotional experiences, hence leading
to the creation of a collectivistic culture within organizations as well as the creation of
a high performing environment (HPE; see Figure 3). In other words, appropriate job
design will lead to proactive performance and finally to learning and developing

Future implications of the model

Traditional outcomes such as job satisfaction, motivation and performance will

certainly remain central to the agenda. But, some wider developments are yet to be
incorporated besides these general agendas. Job autonomy would be associated with
greater organizational commitment, which in turn was linked to safer working. Thus,
safety has been one of the most ignored aspects of job designs which in future can
become one of the salient features of job design, hence, leading to a better quality of
work life (QWL).

In today's world, to survive in the turbulent marketplace, creativity, innovation, skill

and knowledge acquisition have become major aspects in improving the performance
of employees and creating virtuous circles for organizations to reach the pinnacle, as
they lead to improved decision-making and goal setting.

Finally, in terms of practical recommendations, empowerment is an effective strategy

for promoting expertise. It creates an effective and safe environment within which

individuals can acquire skills. Importantly, empowerment provides an opportunity for
employees to apply new skills, which is likely to reinforce the values of personal
development. It can be regarded as an effective means of improving skills and can be
regarded as an effective strategy for managing knowledge in two respects:

1. the provision of information systems and support from technical experts

represents a systematic practice for disseminating knowledge through an
organization; and
2. enhanced decision-making responsibility has the potential to tap into
employees' existing knowledge and skills, drawing on their personal
experiences and ideas to improve the effectiveness of work systems.

In other words, empowerment can be viewed as a means of eliciting or unlocking the

knowledge possessed by an organization.

When it comes to job design in the Indian context, employers can give a quick
response to their job by enabling employees to use their tact and local language to
solve problems. Besides this, knowledge creation and employee learning and
development among employees will be promoted with the perspective consistent with
the German action theory, of which the basic tenet is that work is action-oriented. It
has also been proposed in the model that designed roles promote mastery, which in
turn helps people learn to cope with the stresses of the job, also leading to higher
intensive motivation, which in turn leads to increased growth needs strength,
providing environmental certainty and centralized decision-making. Thus, implication
of the model is that the job characteristics model can be practically applied with the
desirable performance and satisfaction results. Some well-known companies such as
3M, AT&T, Xerox and Motorola are also among those who have actually
implemented job design changes in accordance with the job characteristics model.


There are various approaches that allow management to design jobs for employee
motivation, increased productivity and future growth. In order for the job design to be
effective, management needs to look at what aspects of the jobs are important and
better fit the organizational goals. Thus, one of the major purposes of job design is to
be able to discuss what is needed from the job and the employees. It is of current
interest in establishing a link between human resource management (HRM) or high
involvement practices and organizational performance with an increase in intrinsic

The implication of the model finally leads to the positive affective state of “flow”
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), which is experienced by an individual in certain situations.
It is the total attention and psychic energy devoted to the task in hand, and feelings of
exhilaration, comfort and energy. An individual experiences this state when there is a
match between an individual's perceived skills and tasks. Thus, effective job design
has become one of the salient aspects of human resource management and
organizational behaviour so as to survive in the global workplace (see Figure 4).

Thus, we can conclude that changes in the business environment profoundly affect
organizations and the people working within them. The proposal has been made in the

belief that we will be able to build a systematic, symbiotic, task-induced, and high
performance environment.

Equation 1

Figure 1Approaches to job design

Figure 2Hackman-Oldham job characteristics model

Figure 3The proposed model of job design

Figure 4Outcome of the proposed model of job design


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Motivating Organizational Members

Hackman and Oldham's Motivating Potential Score of Jobs


The Definition and Role of Motivation

Motivating Your Members

Motivating Guide

Motivational Theories


Hackman & Oldham's Motivating Potential Score(MPS) of Jobs



. In many organizations, one finds that job specialization is the rule. There are clearly
many advantages to creating specialized jobs:

job are mastered quickly

jobs can be changed quickly and easily

training costs are minimized

However, there are also negative consequences to specialized jobs:

monotony of tasks causes worker alienation

employees may have to be paid extra because of the alienation created by monotonous

monotony and boredom may result in poor quality workmanship

worker motivation is reduced

. Herzberg

. Frederick Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory addresses the issue of workplace

motivation. According to Herzberg, motivation comes from job content. Therefore, it
is important for managers to consider the nature of the jobs they ask their employees
to do.

Herzberg's approach can be summarized by:

If you want people to do a good job for you, then you must give them a good job to

The implication of Herzberg's work is that practically everyone will respond to a job
high in motivating factors. Experience, however, suggests that this is not nearly as
universally true has Herzberg postulated.

Herzberg's view, when restricted to workers who earn a decent wage (those who have
their lower order needs satisfied as per Maslow), appears to make sense.

However, it begs the question: "What is a 'good' job?"

What's A Good Job?

Whereas Herzberg advocated the creation of "good" jobs, Richard Hackman and
Greg Oldham built on that concept by attempting to refine our understanding of what
a "good job" actually looks like. In other words, what are the characteristics of
motivating jobs. Further, they also suggested that different workers react differently to
jobs (not quite the universal reaction posited by Herzberg).

Hackman and Oldham's research led them to conclude that five key characteristics
could be used to describe the motivating potential of a job. These characteristics are:

skill variety,

task identity,

task significance,

autonomy, and


They also found that workers who possessed what Hackman and Oldham called
"high growth needs" responded positively to high motivating potential jobs, but those
with low growth needs did not.

Motivating Potential

Hackman and Oldham sought to "measure" the motivating potential of jobs. In other
words, to measure the extent that a job exhibits the five characteristics listed above.

Their research found that jobs scoring high in terms of a combination of these five
characteristics resulted in higher job satisfaction and productivity than jobs scoring

For a job to be intrinsically motivating, all five characteristics must be simultaneously

present, to some extent.

Motivating Characteristics

Skill Variety:

Skill variety describes the degree to which a job requires the exercise of a number of
different skills, abilities, or talents. Such activities must not merely be different, but
they must be distinct enough to require different skills.

Task Identity:

Task identity defines the extent to which a job requires completion of a whole and
identifiable piece of work.

Task Significance:

Task significance refers to the importance of the job; the degree to which the job has
an impact on the lives of other people, the immediate organization or the external


Autonomy is the degree to which the jobholder is free to schedule the pace of his or
her work and determine the procedures to be used.


Feedback is the degree to which the individual doing a job obtains information about
the effectiveness of the performance. Feedback does not only refer to supervisory
feedback, but also the ability to observe the results of their work.

A motivating job (a high MPS score) shows evidence of all five core job
characteristics. Skill variety, task identity, and task significance all serve
to account for a sense of "meaningfulness". A job with autonomy serves to
give the jobholder a sense of responsibility, while feedback satisfies the
need for knowledge. (see figure below)

. The MPS Equation
. The motivationg potential of a job is calculated using the equation below.

Calculating a Motivationg Potential Score (MPS)

. A motivating job (a high MPS score) shows evidence of all five core job
characteristics. Skill variety, task identity, and task significance all serve to account
for a sense of "meaningfulness". A job with autonomy serves to give the jobholder a
sense of responsibility, while feedback satisfies the need for knowledge. (see figure

. The MPS Equation

. The motivationg potential of a job is calculated using the equation below.

. The score calculated using this equation is only a crude indication of a job's
motivational potential. First, it is important to remember that different individuals
may respond to the variables differently -- the values assigned to the 5 variables are a
matter of the job incumbent's perception. Thus, two different people may produce a
different MP Score for the same job.

The utility in this equation lies in its ability to pinpoint particular problems for a
specific job. Then, having pinpointed the problem, the job can be "re-designed" to
correct the shortcomings in one or more of the five critical components.

Motivation-Hygiene Theory

The motivation of employees is

important to organizations since it
is one of several factors that
significantly affects the
productivity of employees.

Raising the level of motivation

increases profitability through
. greater creativity and
commitment in employees.

Herzberg's Two Factor Theory,

also known as the Motivation-
Hygiene Theory, was derived
from a study designed to test the
concept that people have two sets
of needs:

1. their needs as animals to avoid
2. their needs as humans to grow

. Herzberg's Study

Herzberg's study consisted of a

series of interviews that sought
to elicit responses to the

(1) Recall a time when you felt

exceptionally good about your
...two hundred engineers and accountants in Pittsburgh were job. Why did you feel that way
interviewed about the job? Did this feeling
To test the hypothesis, engineers and accountants were interviewed affect your job performance in
to assess events that led to significant changes in their job attitudes any way? Did this feeling have an
and to determine the factors that caused those changes impact on your personal
relationships or your well- being?

(2) Recall a time on the job that

resulted in negative feelings?
Describe the sequence of events
that resulted in these negative


It appeared, from the research,

that the things making people
. happy on the job and those making
them unhappy had two separate


WHAT PEOPLE WANT FROM THEIR JOBS: Motivation-Hygiene Theory:

"...the things people said positively about their job experiences Five factors stood out as strong
were not the opposite of what they said negatively about their determiners of job satisfaction:
 achievemen
(Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in Management Review)
 recognition
 work itself
 responsibili
 advanceme

The last three factors were found

to be most important for bringing
about lasting changes of attitude.
It should be noted, that
recognition refers to recognition
for achievement as opposed to
recognition in the human relations


"...the factors which make people happy all are related to what The determinants of job
people did: the job content... what made people unhappy was dissatisfaction were found to be:
related to... job environment, job context... the way they're  company policy
treated."  administrative
(Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in Management Review)
 supervision
 salary
 interpersonal

 working conditions

It appears that the central theme of the satisfiers (also called

motivators) is one having to do with the relationship the employee has
with his or her job; job content.
. The theme of the dissatisfiers appears to be related to the
environment or context of the job. These dissatisfiers seem to have
little effect on positive job attitudes (in some of the literature, these
dissatisfiers were called hygiene or maintenance factors).

. Two Dimensions
JOB SATISFACTION: At the psychological level, the two dimensions of job attitudes appear to
reflect a two-dimensional need structure:
"...job satisfaction... and job
dissatisfaction are not · one need structure for the avoidance of unpleasantness, and
opposites; they are
completely separate · a parallel need system for personal growth
continua, like hearing and
vision." For Herzberg, motivation results from personal growth and is based on an
innate need to grow. In other words, people find satisfaction in work that
(Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in
Management Review) is interesting and challenging. A desire to fulfill our potential drives us to
seek growth and provides the incentive to achieve.

According to Herzberg, the idea that the work one does is significant
leads, ultimately, to satisfaction with the the work itself. Employees will
be motivated to do work that they percieve to be significant.

From a philosophical perspective, it is Herzberg's position that it is the
responsibility of society's dominant institutions to provide for the growth
and well being of people. In our society, one such dominant organization is
the business institution. Therefore it is the responsibility of business and
industry to provide the means for growth and self actualization (see

Herzberg's theory thus posits that there are two classes of factors that
influence employee motivation; intrinsic factors and the extrinsic factors.

The intrinsic factors were also called the motivator factors and were
related to job satisfaction. The extrinsic factors were called hygiene
factors and were related to job dissatisfaction.

KITA Motivators (intrinsic factors) led to job satisfaction because of a need

for growth and self actualization, and hygiene (extrinsic) factors led to
when employees do job dissatisfaction because of a need to avoid unpleasantness.
The negative or positive KITA or "kick in the a**" approach to employee
"...to avoid being hurt, that's
movement. I called it motivation yields short- range results, but rarely generates any actual
motivation. In fact, to call it an "approach to motivation" is to clearly
KITA... misunderstand motivation as Herzberg understood it. KITA yields
movement -- the avoidance of pain -- not motivation.
when a human being does
something, he's motivated. Positive KITA, in the form of raises and incentives reduces time spent at
The intiative comes from work, inflates wages and benefits, and overemphasizes human relations.
K-I-T-A techniques fail to instill self-generating motivation in workers.
Job content factors, such as achievement and responsibility, are
motivators, while job environment factors are hygiene or KITA factors.
Motivators are the key to satisfaction.


The desire to fulfill our In an era of increasing competition, it is important for organizations to
potential drives us to seek effectively utilize all available resources; including human resources.
growth and provides the

incentive to achieve --
MOTIVATION In the workplace, the motivation of employees is important to the
organization as it is one of the variables that affects the employee

Fundamental to Herzberg's position is the notion that motivation is a

result of personal growth and is based on an innate need to grow. What
this means is that people find satisfaction in work that is interesting and

Workers with greater ability JOB ENRICHMENT: The idea of job enrichment is probably the most
have an opportunity to significant contribution of Herzberg's theory.
demonstrate their potential
and are better utilized by
allowing them to use more of Meaningful tasks allow for growth, and job enrichment is a relatively
their talents simple method for facilitating this growth:

 adding different tasks to a job to provide greater

involvement and interaction with the task.
If you cannot challenge
workers, motivational Adding tasks can raise the level of challenge in any particular job to a
problems will result
level commensurate with the abilities of an employee. It might be argued
that, if a job can not be enriched and it is not challenging to the person in
that position, then that person ought to be replaced by someone who will
If you want people to do a find the job challenging.
good job for you, give them a
good job to do

Examples of vertical job JOB LOADING: There are two forms of job loading.
loading:  Horizontal job loading: adding tasks to a job but not adding any
 increasing
responsibility or challenge -- the meaningless of the job is simply
increased. Horizontal loading ought to be avoided!
 removing controls
 making periodic  Vertical job loading: adding meaningful tasks that will lead to
reports available to growth -- additional tasks that permit growth and provide
workers motivating factors.
 granting job freedom
 granting job authority
 introducing new and
challenging tasks

 assigning specific or
specialized tasks

It is the responsibility of By providing motivators and removing hygienes, management can facilitate
management to create an the growth of employees. This is essential to both the individual and the
environment that encourages
organization.Growth makes the employee more valuable to the
employee growth and self

actualization... organization because of his/her ability to perform higher order duties.
...management cannot really motivate employees, it can only
create the environment in which the employees motivate


Critics of Herzberg's theory argue that the sample population was small
and limited to a group of professionals. Numerous replication studies have
been performed to check the validity of the original results. Mostly, the
results are comparable to the results obtained in the original experiment
and indicate that motivators are the primary cause of job satisfaction.

There is also the criticism that the study applies only to middle
Pay is not the most important management professionals (the original sample consisted of 200 middle
thing in "job satisfaction"; management professionals).
personal satisfaction, feeling
appreciated, and a feeling of
However, an application of Maslow's concepts suggests that people work
doing something worth while
all out rank pay as the reason to achieve what they do not have. As such, the set of motivators can
employees stay in their differ from person to person. Instead of saying that Herzberg’s
present job. findings only apply to middle level professionals, it would be more correct
to say that Herzberg’s findings apply to people that have needs and wants
similar to the test subjects.

When attempting to motivate employees, it is important to know their

needs. Effective motivation results from a determination of what will
motivate employees and then providing the factors that address those

Understanding Herzberg's motivation

by John Ball
03 Oct 2003

Understanding what motivates people in all walks of life is basic to all who aspire to
management. One of the best known of all the writers on motivation is Herzberg. He
is noted for – among other things – his ideas on job enrichment, enlargement and
rotation. However, his ideas on motivation in the hygiene-motivation theory are
particularly useful to our understanding of what motivates people. This is particularly
relevant as the original research was undertaken not in the factory, but in the offices

of engineers and accountants.

Content theories of motivation

Herzberg’s motivation theory is one of the content theories of motivation. These
attempt to explain the factors that motivate individuals through identifying and
satisfying their individual needs, desires and the aims pursued to satisfy these

This theory of motivation is known as a two factor content theory. It is based upon
the deceptively simple idea that motivation can be dichotomised into hygiene factors
and motivation factors and is often referred to as a ‘two need system’.

These two separate ‘needs’ are the need to avoid unpleasantness and discomfort and,
at the other end of the motivational scale, the need for personal development. A
shortage of the factors that positively encourage employees (the motivating factors)
will cause employees to focus on other, non-job related ‘hygiene’ factors.

The most important part of this theory of motivation is that the main motivating
factors are not in the environment but in the intrinsic value and satisfaction gained
from the job itself. It follows therefore that to motivate an individual, a job itself
must be challenging, have scope for enrichment and be of interest to the jobholder.
Motivators (sometimes called ‘satisfiers’) are those factors directly concerned with
the satisfaction gained from a job, such as:

 the sense of achievement and the intrinsic value obtained from the job itself
 the level of recognition by both colleagues and management
 the level of responsibility
 opportunities for advancement and
 the status provided.

Motivators lead to satisfaction because of the need for growth and a sense of self-

A lack of motivators leads to over-concentration on hygiene factors, which are those

negative factors which can be seen and therefore form the basis of complaint and
concern. Hygiene factors (often referred to as maintenance factors) lead to
dissatisfaction with a job because of the need to avoid unpleasantness. They are
referred to as hygiene factors because they can be avoided or prevented by the use of
‘hygienic’ methods. The important fact to remember is that attention to these hygiene
factors prevents dissatisfaction but does not necessarily provide positive motivation.

Hygiene factors are also often referred to as ‘dissatisfiers’. They are concerned with
factors associated with the job itself but are not directly a part of it. Typically, this is
salary, although other factors which will often act as dissatisfiers include:

 perceived differences with others

 job security
 working conditions
 the quality of management
 organisational policy

 administration
 interpersonal relations.

Understanding Herzberg’s theory recognises the intrinsic satisfaction that can be

obtained from the work itself. It draws attention to job design and makes managers
aware that problems of motivation may not necessarily be directly associated with
the work. Problems can often be external to the job.

Improved motivation
Managers’ understanding that factors which demotivate can often be related to
matters other than the work itself, can lead to improved motivation, greater job
satisfaction and improved organisational performance by the entire workforce.

Understanding individual goals, coupled with wider skills and abilities, can lead to
greater opportunities. Individuals are seen as valuable to organisations and can
acquire new skills useful in the future. Improving skills, opportunities and increasing
employee knowledge will, in the longer term, increase the value of an organisation’s
human assets. Most importantly, it can lead to greater staff commitment,
understanding and loyalty.

Dr John Ball is former examiner for Paper 1.3

Two factor theory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this article if you can. (May 2008)
For Schachter's two factor theory of emotion, see two factor theory of emotion.
Two Factor Theory (also known as Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory) was
developed by Frederick Herzberg, a psychologist who found that job satisfaction and
job dissatisfaction acted independently of each other. Two Factor Theory states that
there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate
set of factors cause dissatisfaction [1].

 1 Two Factor Theory fundamentals
 2 Validity & Criticisms
 3 References
 4 Further reading

 5 External links

[edit] Two Factor Theory fundamentals

Frederick Herzberg's studies of job attitudes and their connection with industrial
mental health are related to Maslow's theory of motivation. His findings have had a
considerable theoretical, as well as a practical, influence on attitudes toward
administration [2]. According to Herzberg, man is not content with the satisfaction of
lower-order needs at work, for example, those associated with minimum salary levels
or safe and pleasant working conditions. Rather, he looks for the gratification of
higher-level psychological needs having to do with achievement, recognition,
responsibility, advancement, and the nature of the work itself. So far, this appears to
parallel Maslow's theory of a need hierarchy. However, Herzberg added a new
dimension to this theory by proposing a two-factor model of motivation, based on the
notion that the presence of one set of job characteristics or incentives lead to worker
satisfaction at work, while another and separate set of job characteristics lead to
dissatisfaction at work. Thus, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not on a continuum
with one increasing as the other diminishes, but are independent phenomena. This
theory suggests that to improve job attitudes and productivity, administrators must
recognize and attend to both sets of characteristics and not assume that an increase in
satisfaction leads to a commensurate decrease in dissatisfaction.

The two-factor, or motivation-hygiene theory, developed from data collected by

Herzberg from interviews with a large number of engineers and accountants in the
Pittsburgh area. From analyzing these interviews, he found that job characteristics
related to what a man does — that is, to the nature of the work he performs —
apparently have the capacity to gratify such needs as achievement, competency,
status, personal worth, and self-realization, thus making him happy and satisfied.
However, the absence of such gratifying job characteristics does not appear to lead to
unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Instead, dissatisfaction results from unfavorable
assessments of such job-related factors as company policies, supervision, technical
problems, salary, interpersonal relations on the job, and working conditions. Thus, if
management wishes to increase satisfaction on the job, it should be concerned with
the nature of the work itself — the opportunities it presents for gaining status,
assuming responsibility, and for achieving self-realization. If, on the other hand,
management wishes to reduce dissatisfaction, then it must focus on the job
environment— policies, procedures, supervision, and working conditions [1]. If
management is equally concerned with both (as is usually the case), then managers
must give attention to both sets of job factors.

The theory was based around interviews with 203 American accountants & engineers
in Pittsburgh, chosen because of their professions' growing importance in the business

world. The subjects were asked to relate times when they felt exceptionally good or
bad about their present job or any previous job, and to provide reasons, and a
description of the sequence of events giving rise to that positive or negative feeling.

Here is the description of this interview analysis:

Briefly, we asked our respondents to describe periods in their lives when they were
exceedingly happy and unhappy with their jobs. Each respondent gave as many
"sequences of events" as he could which met certain criteria including a marked
change in feeling, a beginning and an end, and contained some substantive
description other than feelings and interpretations....

The proposed hypothesis appears verified. The factors on the right that led to
satisfaction (achievement, intrinsic interest in the work, responsibility, and
advancement) are mostly unipolar; that is, they contribute very little to job
dissatisfaction. Conversely, the dis-satisfiers (company policy and administrative
practices, supervision, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, and salary)
contribute very little to job satisfaction [3].

Two Factor Theory distinguishes between:

 Motivators (e.g.
which give
arising from
conditions of the
job itself, such as
achievement, or
growth[4], and

 Hygiene factors
(e.g. status, job
security, salary
and fringe
benefits) which
do not give
results from their
absence. These

are extrinsic to
the work itself,
and include
aspects such as
practices, or
wages/salary [4].

Essentially, hygiene factors are needed to ensure an employee is not dissatisfied.

Motivation factors are needed in order to motivate an employee to higher
performance, Herzberg also further classified our actions and how and why we do
them, for example, if you perform a work related action because you have to then that
is classed as movement, but if you perform a work related action because you want to
then that is classed as motivation.

Unlike Maslow, who offered little data to support his ideas, Herzberg and others have
presented considerable empirical evidence to confirm the motivation-hygiene theory.
Their work, however, has been criticized on methodological grounds. Nevertheless,
Herzberg and his associates have rendered a valuable service to science and to
management through their efforts to apply scientific methods to understanding
complex motivational problems at work and have stimulated others to continue the

[edit] Validity & Criticisms

In 1968 Herzberg stated that his two-factor theory study had already been replicated
16 times in a wide variety of populations including some in Communist countries, and
corroborated with studies using different procedures which agreed with his original
findings regarding intrinsic employee motivation making it one of the most widely
replicated studies on job attitudes.

While the Motivator-Hygiene concept is still well regarded, satisfaction and

dissatisfaction are generally no longer considered to exist on separate scales. The
separation of satisfaction and dissatisfaction has been shown to be an artifact of the
Critical Incident Technique (CIT) used by Herzberg to record events [5]. Furthermore,
it has been noted the theory does not allow for individual differences, such as a
particular personality traits, which would affect individuals' unique responses to
motivating or hygiene factors [4].

A number of behavioral scientists have pointed to inadequacies in the need hierarchy

and motivation-hygiene theories. The most basic is the criticism that both of these
theories contain the relatively explicit assumption that happy and satisfied workers
produce more. Another problem is that these and other statistical theories are
concerned with explaining "average" behavior and, on the other hand, if playing a
better game of golf is the means he chooses to satisfy his need for recognition, then he
will find ways to play and think about golf more often, perhaps resulting in an
accompanying lower output on the job. Finally, in his pursuit of status he might take a

balanced view and strive to pursue several behavioral paths in an effort to achieve a
combination of personal status objectives.

In other words, this individual's expectation or estimated probability that a given

behavior will bring a valued outcome determines his choice of means and the effort he
will devote to these means. In effect, this diagram of expectancy depicts an employee
asking himself the question posed by one investigator, "How much payoff is there for
me toward attaining a personal goal while expending so much effort toward the
achievement of an assigned organizational objective?" [6] The Expectancy Theory by
Victor Vroom also provides a framework for motivation based on expectations.

This approach to the study and understanding of motivation would appear to have
certain conceptual advantages over other theories: First, unlike Maslow's and
Herzberg's theories, it is capable of handling individual differences. Second, its focus
is toward the present and the future, in contrast to drive theory, which emphasizes past
learning. Third, it specifically relates behavior to a goal and thus eliminates the
problem of assumed relationships, such as between motivation and performance.
Fourth, it relates motivation to ability: Performance = Motivation*Ability.

That said, a study by the Gallup Organization, as detailed in the book "First, Break All
the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do" by Marcus Buckingham and Curt
Coffman, appears to provide strong support Herzberg's division of satisfaction and
dissatisfaction onto two separate scales. In this book, the authors discuss how the
study identified twelve questions which provide a framework for determining high-
performing individuals and organizations. These twelve questions align squarely with
Herzberg's motivation factors, while hygiene factors were determined to have little
effect on motivating high performance.

[edit] References
1. ^ a b
B. &
, The
n to

2. ^
re of
); F.
et al,
n to
, 2nd
3. ^

), pp.
4. ^ a b c
J. R.,
n of

5. ^
, N.
n of
ry of
6. ^

ld M.
s, Jr.,
), p.

[edit] Further reading

 Herzberg, F.
1968, "One more
time: how do you
Business Review,
vol. 46, iss. 1, pp.

[edit] External links
 Herzberg's Two
Factor Theory

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_factor_theory"

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Business Encyclopedia: Job Enrichment

Job enrichment is a way to motivate employees by giving them increased

responsibility and variety in their jobs. Many employers traditionally believed that
money was the only true motivating factor for employees and that if you wanted to
get more work out of employees, offering them more money was the only way to do
it. While that may be true for a small group of people, the majority of workers today
like to work and to be appreciated for the work they do. Job enrichment— allowing
the employees to have more control in planning their work and deciding how the work
should be accomplished—is one way to tap into the natural desire most employees
have to do a good job, to be appreciated for their contributions to the company, and to
feel more a part of the company team.

Job enrichment has its roots in Frederick Herzberg's two-factor theory, according to
which two separate dimensions contribute to an employee's behavior at work. The
first dimension, known as hygiene factors, involves the presence or absence of job
dissatisfacters, such as wages, working environment, rules and regulations, and
supervisors. When these factors are poor, work is dissatisfying and employees are not
motivated. However, having positive hygiene factors does not cause employees to be
motivated; it simply keeps them from being dissatisfied. The second dimension of
Herzberg's theory refers to motivators, which are factors that satisfy higher-level
needs such as recognition for doing a good job, achievement, and the opportunity for
growth and responsibility. These motivators are what actually increase job satisfaction
and performance. Job enrichment becomes an important strategy at this point because
enriching employees' jobs can help meet some of their motivational needs. There are
basically five areas that are believed to affect an individual employee's motivation and
job performance: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and

feedback. Job enrichment seeks to find positive ways to address each of these areas
and therefore improve employee motivation and personal satisfaction.

Skill variety involves the number of different types of skills that are used to do a job.
This area is important because using only one skill to do the same task repeatedly can
be quite boring, typically causing the employee's productivity to decrease after a
period of time. However, using a variety of skills in a job will tend to keep the
employee more interested in the job and more motivated.

One way businesses are focusing on this area is through job rotation, that is, moving
employees from job to job within the company, thereby allowing employees a variety
of tasks in their work and helping prevent boredom. While this process can be costly
to the company because employees must be trained in several different areas, the cost
tends to be balanced by the increase in morale and productivity. Job rotation also
gives each employee the opportunity to see how the different jobs of a company fit
together and gives the company more flexibility in covering tasks when workers are
absent. However, while job rotation is a good way to enrich employees' jobs, it can
also hinder performance: Having to know several different jobs in order to rotate, can
prevent employees from becoming proficient at any of the jobs. Therefore, the
advantages and disadvantages of job rotation as an enrichment strategy have to be
carefully weighed.

Task identity is a matter of realizing a visible outcome from performing a task. Being
able to see the end result of the work they do is an important motivator for employees.
One way to make task identity clearer is through job enlargement, which means
adding more tasks and responsibilities to an existing job. For example, instead of
building just one component part of a humidifier, a team of employees builds the
entire product from start to finish. When using job enlargement as an enrichment
strategy, it is important that enlarging the job gives the employee more responsibility
and more variety, not just more work.

Task significance involves how important the task is to others in the company, which
is important in showing employees how the work they do fits in with that done in the
rest of the organization. If employees can see how their work affects others, it will be
a motivator to do the best job they can.

Many companies take new employees on a tour of the company and provide training
sessions on how each part of the company works together with the other parts. In
order to accept and handle responsibility, it is important that employees know how the
various areas of the company work together; without this knowledge, it is very
difficult for them to handle decision-making responsibilities. Putting employees from
different areas of the company into planning teams can also help them see the
significance of the tasks they perform.

Autonomy involves the degree of freedom, independence, and decision-making ability

the employee has in completing assigned tasks. Most people like to be given
responsibility; it demonstrates trust and helps motivate employees to live up to that
trust. Responsibility can also help speed up work processes by enabling the employee
to make decisions without having to wait for management approval. Autonomy is a

very important part of job enrichment because it gives the employee power and a
feeling of importance.

A type of job enrichment that restructures work to best match the employee to the job
is job redesign. Job redesign can focus on combining existing jobs, forming work
groups, and/or allowing closer contact between employees and individual suppliers or
customers. The idea behind job redesign is to match employees with a job they like
and are best qualified to perform. Self-managed teams are a type of job design
whereby employees are grouped into teams and given certain guidelines to follow as
well as goals to accomplish—and then left alone to accomplish those goals. Self-
managed teams demonstrate the company's faith in the employees and give employees
a feeling of power and pride in the work they accomplish.

Feedback describes how much and what type of information about job performance is
received by the employee. It is one of the most important areas for motivation.
Without feedback, employees have no way of knowing whether they are doing things
correctly or incorrectly. Positive feedback helps to motivate employees by
recognizing the efforts they have put into their work. While monetary rewards for
doing a good job can be a strong incentive, sometimes saying "you did a really good
job on that project" can mean just as much. Corrective feedback is also important
because it lets employees know what areas need improvement.

There are many different types of job-enrichment activities and programs that
companies can implement to encourage worker participation and enhance motivation.
The team atmosphere is one way to enrich jobs. Grouping employees into teams and
allowing the team the freedom to plan, make decisions, and accomplish their goals
gives employees a feeling of importance and responsibility. It can also help
employees come up with creative ideas on ways to improve work activities by giving
them the opportunity to work closely with others. Asking for and encouraging
employees to give input on company strategies and plans is another way to enrich
jobs. Often times employees have the best input because they are the ones actually
performing the activity on a daily basis. Holding company award ceremonies can also
help to enrich jobs and motivate employees by recognizing individual employees for
their contributions to the company.

The purpose of job enrichment is to improve the quality of an employee's job and
therefore motivate the employee to accomplish more. However, in order for job
enrichment to work, the employee has to desire and accept new ways of
accomplishing tasks. Some employees lack the skills and knowledge required to
perform enriched jobs, while others are quite happy doing routine jobs because they
feel the current work situation is relatively stress-free. It is likely that these types of
employees would not like job-enrichment activities and would not accept the new way
of doing things. Therefore, asking for employee input and keeping communication
lines open is essential to the success of job-enrichment programs.


Boone, Louis E., and Kurtz, David L. (1999). Contemporary Business, 9th ed.
Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.

Bounds, Gregory M., and Lamb, Charles W., Jr. (1998). Business. OH: South-Western
College Publishing.

Fletcher, Jerry L. (1993). Patterns of High Performance: Discovering the Way People
Work Best. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

French, Wendell L. (1998). Human Resources Management. New York: Houghton


Ghoshal, Sumantra, and Bartlett, Christopher A. (1997). The Individualized

Corporation: A Fundamentally New Approach to Management. New York: Harper

Kolberg, William H., and Smith, Foster C. (1992). Rebuilding America's Workforce.
Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin.

Madura, Jeff. (1998). Introduction to Business. Cinncinnati, OH: South-Western

College Publishing.

Nickels, William G., McHugh, James M., and McHugh, Susan M. (1999).
Understanding Business, 5th ed. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Pride, William M., Hughes, Robert J., and Kapoor, Jack R. (1999). Business, 6th ed.
New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Rosenbaum, Bernard L., ed. (1982). How to Motivate Today's Workers. New York:


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Wikipedia: job enrichment

Job enrichment in organizational development, human resources management, and

organizational behavior, is the process of giving the employee a wider and higher
level scope of responsibilitiy with increased decision making authority. This is the
opposite of job enlargement, which simply would not involve greater authority.
Instead, it will only have an increased number of duties [1]

The terminology used to refer to job enlargement is perhaps in the non-scientific

management of personnel labeled "multi-tasking". This perhaps is a violation of one
of the key principles of human achievement, namely, concentration of effort.[2] One
can perhaps manage and work on a vareity of projects and still practice concentrated
effort [3], but multitasking as it is in the present used is so out of hand that it often

prevents an employee from getting done with any thing. Unrully multi-tasking may be
a less effective type of job enlargement.

The current practice of job enrichment stemmed from the work of Frederick Herzberg
in the 1950s and 1960s.[4] Herzberg's two factor theory argued that job satisfaction and
job dissatisfaction are not to be seen as one dimension, but two. Aspects of work that
contributed to job satisfaction are called motivators and aspects that contributed to job
dissatisfaction are called hygiene factors; hence, the theory is also refereed to as
motivator-hygiene theory. Examples of motivators are recognition, achievement, and
advancement. Examples of hygiene factors are salary, company policies and working
conditions. According to Herzberg's theory, the existance motivators would lead to job
satisfaction, but the lack of motivators would not lead to job dissatisfaction, and
similarly; hygiene factors affect job dissatisfaction, but not job satisfaction. In
general, research has failed to confirm these central aspects of the theory.[5]

Hackman and Oldham later refined the work of Herzberg into the Job Characteristics
Model [6], which forms the basis of job enrichment today.[7]


Job enrichment, as a managerial activity includes a three steps technique:

1. Turn employees' effort into performance:

 Ensuring that objectives are well-defined and understood by everyone. The

overall corporate mission statement should be communicated to all.
Individual's goals should also be clear. Each employee should know exactly
how she fits into the overall process and be aware of how important her
contributions are to the organization and its customers.
 Providing adequate resources for each employee to perform well. This
includes support functions like information technology, communication
technology, and personnel training and development.
 Creating a supportive corporate culture. This includes peer support networks,
supportive management, and removing elements that foster mistrust and
 Free flow of information. Eliminate secrecy.
 Provide enough freedom to facilitate job excellence. Encourage and reward
employee initiative. Flextime or compressed hours could be offered.
 Provide adequate recognition, appreciation, and other motivators.
 Provide skill improvement opportunities. This could include paid education at
universities or on the job training.
 Provide job variety. This can be done by job sharing or job rotation
 It may be necessary to re-engineer the job process. This could involve
redesigning the physical facility, redesign processes, change technologies,
simplification of procedures, elimination of repetitiveness, redesigning
authority structures.

2. Link employees performance directly to reward:

 Clear definition of the reward is a must
 Explanation of the link between performance and reward is important
 Make sure the employee gets the right reward if performs well
 If reward is not given, explanation is needed

3. Make sure the employee wants the reward. How to find out?

 Ask them
 Use surveys( checklist, listing, questions)

 Feder, B.J. 2000, "F.I. Herzberg, 76, Professor And Management Consultant",
New York Times, Feb 1, 2000, pg. C26. Available from: ProQuest Historical
Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003). [28 October 2006].
 Hackman, J.R. & Oldham, G.R. 1976, 'Motivation through the design of work:
Test of a Theory”, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance,
[Online], vol. 16, no. 2 , pp. 250-279. Available from: Science Direct. [1
November 2006].
 Mione, P. 2006, " Job Enrichment", Online paper.

1. ^ Motivation and Work Behavior by Richard M. Steers and Lyman W. Porte,
1991; pgs 215m 322m 357, 411-413, 423, 428-441 and pg 576.
2. ^ Andrew Carnegie, 1953; How to Raise Your Own Salary; pp 235 to pp244;
Napoleon Hill and Annie Lou Norman Hill
3. ^ Attorney and American Writer Napoleon Hill, 1979; 1995;
The Law of Success; Chapter XI; pp 1 to pp77 Success Unlimited: A Division
of W. Clement Stone
4. ^ Feder 2000, Mione 2006
5. ^ Morgenson, Frederick P., & Campion, Michael A. (2003). Work Design. In
W. C. Borman, D. R. Ilgen, & R.J. Klimoski (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology,
Vol. 12 (pp. 423-452). NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
6. ^ Hackman & Oldham 1976
7. ^ Mione 2006

See also
 Job enlargement
 Socio-technical systems
 Sociotechnical systems theory
 Two factor theory

Approaches to Job Design

There are three important approaches to job design, viz.,
1. Engineering approach,
2. Human approach and
3. The Job characteristic approach.

Engineering Approach

The most important single element in the Engineering approaches, proposed by

FW Taylor and others, was the task idea, “The work of every workman is fully
planned out by the management at least one day in advance and each man receives in
most cases complete written instructions, describing in detail the task which he is to
accomplish . . . This task specifies not only what is to be done but how it is to be done
and the exact time allowed for doing it.” The principles offered by scientific
management to job design can be summarised thus:
l Work should be scientifically studied. Taylor advocated fragmentation and
routinisation of work to reap the advantages of specialisation.
l Work should be arranged so that workers can be efficient.
l Employees selected for work should be matched to the demands of the job.
l Employees should be trained to perform the job.
l Monetary compensation should be used to reward successful performance of
the job.
These principles to job design seem to be quite rational and appealing because they
point towards increased organisational performance. Specialisation and routinisation
over a period of time result in job incumbents becoming experts rather quickly,
leading to higher levels of output. Despite the assumed gains in efficiency,
behavioural scientists have found that some job incumbents dislike specialised and
routine jobs.

Problems with engineering approach

After listening to several complaints from employees about their highly specialised
jobs, Walker and Guest indicated the problems with job specialisation thus:
(a) Repetition: Employees performed a few tasks repeatedly. This quickly led the
employees to become very bored with the job. There was no challenge to the
employees to learn anything new or to improve the job.
(b) Mechanical pacing: Assembly line workers were made to maintain a certain
regular pace of work. They could not take a break when they needed to, or simply
divert their attention to some other aspect of the job or another individual.
(c) No end product: Employees found that they were not turning out any
identifiable end product; consequently, they had little pride and enthusiasm in their
(d) Little social interaction: Employees complained that because the assembly
line demanded constant attention, there was very little opportunity to interact on a
casual basis with other employees and share their work experiences, beliefs and
(e) No input: Employees also complained that they had little chance to choose the
methods by which they performed their jobs, the tools which they used, or the work
procedures. This, of course, created little interest in the job because there was nothing
which they could improve or change.

Human Relations Approach

The human relations approach recognised the need to design jobs in an interesting
manner. In the past two decades much work has been directed to changing jobs so that
job incumbents can satisfy their needs for growth, recognition and responsibility.
Herzberg’s research popularised the notion of enhancing need satisfaction through

what is called job enrichment. One widely publicised approach to job enrichment uses
what is called job characteristics model and this has been explained separately in the
ensuing section.
According to Herzberg there are two types of factors, viz. (i) motivators like
achievements, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth and
(ii) hygiene factors (which merely maintain the employee on the job and in the
organization) like working conditions, organisational policies, inter-personnel
relations, pay and job security. According to Herzberg, the employee is dissatisfied
with the job if maintenance factors to the required degree are not introduced into the
job. But, the employee may not be satisfied even if the required maintenance factors
are provided. Herzberg feels that the employee will be satisfied with his job and he
will be more productive if motivators are introduced into the job content. As such, he
asserts that the job designer has to introduce hygienic factors adequately to reduce
dissatisfaction and build motivating factors. Thus, Herzberg has put emphasis on the
psychological needs of the employees in designing jobs.

The Job Characteristics Approach

The Job Characteristics Theory of Hackman and Oldham states that employees will
work hard when they are rewarded for the work they do and when the work gives
them satisfaction. Hence, they suggest that motivation, satisfaction and performance
should be integrated in the job design. According to this approach, any job can be
described in terms of five core job dimensions which are defined as follows:
(a) Skill variety: The degree to which the job requires that workers use a variety
of different activities, talents and skills in order to successfully complete the job
(b) Task identity: The degree to which the job allows workers to complete whole
tasks from start to finish, rather than disjointed portions of the job.
(c) Task significance: The degree to which the job significantly impacts the lives
of others both within and outside the workplace.
(d) Autonomy: The degree to which the job allows workers freedom in planning
and scheduling and the methods used to complete the job.
(e) Feedback: The degree to which the job itself provides workers with clear,
direct and understandable knowledge of their performance.
All of the job dimensions impact workers psychologically. The first three dimensions
affect whether or not workers view their job as meaningful. Autonomy determines the
extent of responsibility workers feel. Feedback allows for feelings of satisfaction for a
job well done by providing knowledge of results.
The core job dimensions can be combined into a single predictive index called the
Motivating Potential Score. Its computation is as follows:
Motivating Skill variety + Task identity + Task significance
potential = x Autonomy x
Jobs that are high on motivating potential must be high at least in one of the three
factors that lead to meaningful work and must be high in both autonomy and feedback
and vice versa. These three critical psychological states lead to the outcome such as
(a) high internal work motivation, (b) high growth satisfaction, (c) high quality work
performance, (d) high general job satisfaction, (e) high work effectiveness and (f) low
absenteeism and turnover (Figure 13.1). The model says that internal rewards are

obtained by an individual when he learns that he personally has performed well on a
task that he cares about.

Figure 13.1: Job Characteristics Model

Ironically, the main feature of the job characteristics design method – its intrinsic
psychological motivation – may be its biggest drawback. Supervisors attempting to
apply these principles may discover that for many employees these psychological
states are unimportant. In fact, research to date indicates that some employees respond
exceedingly well to jobs redesigned according to job characteristic dimensions,
whereas for others, it has no discernible impact.

Sociotechnical Systems Approach

The above theories of job design are all concerned with designing individual jobs. The
approach taken by the sociotechnical systems method is the design or work systems
that foster a meshing of the technical and social aspects of jobs. In order to create
jobs, which have this supportive relationship, work teams not individual jobs, must be
studied. Jobs in the traditional sense are non-existent and instead, each worker plays
an assigned role in accomplishing the group’s objectives. Redesigning work through
sociotechnical systems methods requires the combined efforts of employees,
supervisors and union representatives in analysing significant job operations. Jobs are
not necessarily designed to be intrinsically motivating; rather, they are designed so
that the work is accomplished. As in scientific management, a supervisor’s goal is to
ensure that the organization’s objectives are met. However, this is accomplished by
concentrating only on critical job aspects, by forming work teams consisting of
members who have the necessary qualifications to accomplish the tasks and by
allowing work groups the autonomy to manage their own work process.
The thrust of the sociotechnical approach to job design is that both the technical
system and the accompanying social system should be considered when designing
jobs. According to this concept, jobs should be designed by taking a ‘holistic’ or
‘systems’ view of the entire job situation, including its physical and social
environment. Using the sociotechnical approach, the following guidelines have been
developed for designing jobs:
1. A job needs to be reasonably demanding for the individual in terms other than
sheer endurance and yet provide some variety (not necessarily novelty).
2. Employees need to be able to learn on the job and to go on learning.
3. Employees need some minimum area of decision making that they can call
their own.

4. Employees need some minimal degree of social support and recognition at the
5. Employees need to be able to relate what they do and what they produce to
their social life.

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