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HRM: Work process design Overview. Two perspectives on the relationship person – work. static relationship: person and job stay the same, fit has to be established once. dynamic relationship: person and/or job change continuously, continuous adaption needed.

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Two perspectives on the relationship person work
Two perspectives on the relationship person – work

  • static relationship: person and job stay the same, fit has to be established once.

  • dynamic relationship: person and/or job change continuously, continuous adaption needed.

     Fit / adaptation can happen based on „fit human to task“ and/or „fit task to human“.


When to use which strategy
When to use which strategy ?

  • Strive for stable fit versus continuous adaptation?

  • Fit human to task versus fit task to human?

  • Select the right people or train people to become right?


When to use which strategy1
When to use which strategy ?

  • Strive for stable fit versus continuous adaptation?

  • Fit human to task versus fit task to human?

  • Select the right people or train people to become right?


The product of work is people
The product of work is people

"The man whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects too are, perhaps, always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him, not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life." (Adam Smith, 1776, p. 734f)


The product of work is people1
The product of work is people

  • Cross-sectional studies on the relationship between work and leisure

    • E.g. Meissner (1971): "The long arm of the job"

  • Longitudinal studies on the effects of job design

    • E.g. Baitsch (1985): Increase in technical competencies, intellectual flexibility, social competence, and moral awareness

  • Longitudinal studies in the general public

    • E.g. Kohn & Schooler (1982): Reciprocal interaction between intellectual demands of work andd intellectual development through selection and socialization

  • Even "stable fit" is based on continuous adaptation


When to use which strategy2
When to use which strategy ?

  • Strive for stable fit versus continuous adaptation?

  • Fit human to task versus fit task to human?

  • Select the right people or train people to become right?


Fit task to human focus in hrm work process design
Fit task to human (focus in HRM: Work process design)

  • Job design

  • Job crafting

  • supports dynamic relationship between person and work if tasks are created that include autonomy and learning requirements

  • used when an organization has to / wants to keep certain people


Fit human to task focus in hrm leading teams
Fit human to task (focus in HRM: Leading teams)

  • Personnel selection

  • Training

  • supports dynamic relationship if people are chosen/trained for motivation and capability to learn

  • used when a company does not have the right people available


Integration of fit human to task and fit task to human
Integration of "fit human to task" and "fit task to human"

  • Strive for dynamic relationship between people and work to keep people and organization moving

  • Select people that want to and can develop, i.e. ability and willingness to learn as important selection criterion

  • Personnel development via training and via job design/job crafting

  • Support for lateral und vertical careers in syste-matic processes of selection and development


When to use which strategy3
When to use which strategy ?

  • Strive for stable fit versus continuous adaptation?

  • Fit human to task versus fit task to human?

  • Select the right people or train people to become right?

    • availability of right people

    • knowledge about changes in skill demands

    • social responsibility


Sample exam questions to be discussed on dec 16
Sample exam questions –to be discussed on Dec. 16

  • What do you see as main advantages and disadvantages of the two organizing principles "minimizing uncertainties" and "coping with uncertainties" from an HRM perspective?

  • Why is it important to combine job analysis with work system analysis? Please explain using a concrete example from your semester project.

    Format open book –

    but beware: copying from texts or from slides does not earn you any points!

    Exam on Jan. 13, 10:15 - 11:45


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