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Chapter Four Analyzing Work and Designing Jobs Introduction Key elements and their considerations are at the heart of analyzing work. Through the process of work flow design , managers analyze the tasks needed to produce a product or service. A job is a set of related duties.

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Chapter four l.jpg

Chapter Four

Analyzing Work and Designing Jobs


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Introduction

  • Key elements and their considerations are at the heart of analyzing work.

  • Through the process of work flow design, managers analyze the tasks needed to produce a product or service.

  • A jobis a set of related duties.

  • A positionis the set of duties performed by one person.


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Work Flow Analysis

  • Work flow analysis identifies:

    • The outputs of the process

    • The activities involved

    • Three categories of inputs:

      • Raw inputs (materials and information)

      • Equipment

      • Human resources

  • Ideally, the organization’s structure brings together people who must collaborate in order to efficiently produce the desired outputs. The structure may do this in two ways:

    • Centralized – authority is concentrated in a few people at the top of the organization

    • Decentralized – authority is spread among many people


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Developing a Work-Unit Activity Analysis


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Job Analysis

  • Organizations must understand and match job requirements and people.

  • Job analysisis the process of getting detailed information about jobs.

  • Analyzing jobs and understanding what is required to perform a job provides essential knowledge for:

    • Staffing

    • Training

    • Performance appraisal

    • Many other HR functions

  • A job descriptionis a list of tasks, duties, and responsibilities (TDRs) that a job entails.


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Sample Job Description


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Job Specifications

  • Whereas the job description focuses on the activities involved in carrying out a job, a job specificationlooks at the qualities of the person performing the job.

  • A job specification is a list of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) that an individual must have to perform the job.

  • Job specifications should reflect the unique requirements of the job.


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Sample Job Specifications


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Sources of Job Information

  • Information for analyzing an existing job comes from:

    • Incumbents

    • Observers, such as supervisors

  • The government provides background information for analyzing jobs:

    • Dictionary of Occupational Titles

    • Occupational Information Network (O*NET)


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Position Analysis Questionnaire

  • One of the broadest and best-researched instruments for analyzing jobs is the Position Analysis Questionnaire. This is a standardized job analysis questionnaire containing 194 items to represent:

    • Work behaviors

    • Work conditions

    • Job characteristics

  • The questionnaire organizes these items into six sections concerning different aspects of the job:

    • Information input

    • Mental processes

    • Work output

    • Relationships with other persons

    • Job context

    • Other characteristics


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Task Analysis Inventory

  • Another type of analysis method, the task analysis inventoryfocuses on the tasks performed in a particular job.

  • This method has several variations.

  • Task analysis inventories can be very detailed, including 100 or more tasks.


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Fleishman Job Analysis System

  • To gather information about worker requirements, the Fleishman Job Analysis Systemasks subject-matter experts, typically job incumbents, to evaluate a job in terms of the abilities required to perform the job.

  • The survey is based on 52 categories of abilities ranging from written comprehension to deductive reasoning, manual dexterity, stamina, and originality.

  • When the survey has been completed in all 52 categories, the results provide a picture of the ability requirements of a job.

  • This information is especially important and useful for employee:

    • Selection

    • Training

    • Career development


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Examples of an Ability from the Fleishman Job Analysis System


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Importance of Job Analysis

  • Job analysis is so important to HR managers that it has been called the building block of everything that personnel does.

  • Almost every HRM program requires some type of information that is gleaned from job analysis: Work redesign, Human resource planning, Selection, Training, Performance appraisal, Career planning, Job evaluation.

  • Job analysis is important from a legal standpoint.

  • Job analysis helps supervisors and other managers carry out their duties in the following ways:

    • Identify types of work in a unit

    • Provide information about work flow processes

    • Supports mangers in hiring decisions, performance reviews, and reward recommendations


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Trends in Job Analysis

  • Organizations are beginning to appreciate the need to analyze jobs in the context of the organization’s structure and strategy.

  • Organizations are recognizing that today’s workplace must be adaptable and is constantly changing.

  • Job analysis must detect changes in jobs as time passes.

  • Dejobbing consists of viewing organizations as a field of work needing to be done rather than a series of jobs held by individuals.

  • Organizational structures require the broader understanding that comes from an analysis of work flows.


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Job Design

  • Job design is the process of defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that will be required in a given job.

  • Job redesign refers to changing the tasks or the way work is performed in an existing job.

  • The four approaches used in job design are:

    • mechanistic approach

    • motivational approach

    • biological approach

    • perceptual-motor approach


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Mechanistic Approach

  • Has its roots in classical industrial engineering.

  • Focuses on designing jobs around the concepts of task specialization, skill simplification, and repetition.

  • Scientific management, one of the earliest mechanistic approaches, sought to identify the one best way to perform the job through the use of time-and-motion studies.

  • The scientific management approach was built upon in later years and resulted in a mechanistic approach that calls for the job to be designed very simply.

  • New employees can be trained to perform the job quickly and inexpensively.


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Biological Approach

  • Comes primarily from the sciences of biomechanics, or the study of body movements

  • Is referred to as ergonomics, or the concern with examining the interface between individuals' physiological characteristics and the physical work environment.

  • The goal of this approach is to minimize the physical strain on the worker by structuring the physical work environment around the way the body works.

  • Focuses on outcomes such as physical fatigue, aches and pains, and health complaints.


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Perceptual-Motor Approach

  • Has its roots in the human-factors literature.

  • Focuses on human mental capabilities and limitations.

  • The goal is to design jobs in a way that ensures that they do not exceed people's mental capabilities.

  • Tries to improve reliability, safety, and user reactions by designing jobs in a way that reduces the information processing requirements of the job.


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Motivational Approach

  • The motivational approach to job design focuses on the job characteristics that affect the psychological meaning and motivational potential of job design.

  • A focus on increasing job complexity through job enlargement, job enrichment, and the construction of jobs around sociotechnical systems.

  • A model of how job design affects employee reaction is the “Job Characteristics Model”.


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A pure focus on efficiency will not achieve human resource objectives.

Job design should take into account factors that make jobs motivating to employees.

Job Characteristic Model describes jobs in terms of five characteristics:

Skill variety

Task identity

Task significance

Autonomy

Feedback

Job enlargement refers to broadening the types of tasks performed.

Job extensionis enlarging jobs by combining several relatively simple jobs to form a job with a wider range of tasks.

Job rotation does not actually redesign the jobs, but moves employees among several different jobs.

Job enrichmentis empowering employees by adding decision-making authority to their jobs. It comes from the work of Frederick Herzberg.

Designing Jobs That Motivate


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Self managing work teams have authority for an entire work process or segment.

Flexible work schedules offer alternatives to the 8-5 work job.

Flextime

Job sharing

Compressed workweek

Telework

The study of the interface between individual’s physiology and the characteristics of the physical environment is called ergonomics.

Goal is to minimize physical strain on the workers by structuring the physical work environment around the way the human body works

2001 OSHA regulations

Designing Jobs That Motivate


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Designing Jobs That Meet Mental Capabilities and Limitations

  • Just like the body, the mind too has capabilities and limitations.

  • There are several ways to simplify a job’s mental demands:

    • Limit the amount of information and memorization the job requires

    • Provide adequate lighting

    • Provide easy-to-understand gauges and displays

    • Provide simple-to-operate equipment

    • Provide clear instructions

  • A recent source of job complexity is the flood of e-mails received.


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Approaches to Job Design


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