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Chapter 7 Design of Work Systems. Managing labor and designing jobs so people are effectively and efficiently utilized. Job Design. Job design involves specifying the content and methods of jobs What will be done How will it be done Who will do it Where will the job be done

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chapter 7 design of work systems

Chapter 7Design of Work Systems

Managing labor and designing jobs so people are effectively and efficiently utilized

Saba Bahouth – UCO

job design
Job Design
  • Job designinvolves specifying the content and methods of jobs
    • What will be done
    • How will it be done
    • Who will do it
    • Where will the job be done


Incorporation of human factors in the design of the workplace

Saba Bahouth – UCO

job specialization
Job Specialization

Breaking jobs into small parts and assigning specialists to them.

First noted by Adam Smith (1776).

Saba Bahouth – UCO

work methods ergonomics
Work Methods & Ergonomics

Continuation of Specialization:

Foundation laid by Frederick Taylor

Match employees to task

Developwork methods

Establish work standards

Worker performance depends on:



Work environment


Also called ‘human factors’

Involves human-machine interface

(Mouse, Keyboard)

Saba Bahouth – UCO

behavioral approaches to job design
Behavioral Approaches to Job Design
  • Job Enlargement
  • Job Enrichment
  • Job Rotation
  • Employee Empowerment

Saba Bahouth – UCO

self directed teams
Self-Directed Teams
  • Empowered individuals working for a common goal
  • May be organized for short or long-term objectives
  • Reasons for effectiveness:
    • Provide employee empowerment
    • Meet psychological needs (e.g., belonging)
    • Greater work satisfaction
    • Typically higher quality

Saba Bahouth – UCO

motivation and money
Motivation and Money

Taylor’s scientific management (1911)

- Workers are motivated mainly by money

- Suggested piece-rate system

Maslow’s theory (1943)

People are motivated by hierarchy of needs, including money


Use of abilities, Self-fulfillment


Self Respect


Group Interaction, Job Status


Physical Safety, Job Security


Food, Shelter

Saba Bahouth – UCO

analyzing the job
Analyzing the Job

Flow process chart

Focuses on movements of the operator or flow of materials.

Worker-machine chart

Focuses on idle and busy time for machines and operators.

Motion study

The systematic study of human motions while performing an operation.

Saba Bahouth – UCO


Flow Process Chart

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a therblig
A Therblig


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working conditions
Working Conditions

Temperature and humidity




Noise and vibration

Work breaks


Accident rate (Freq.& Severity)

the visual workplace
The Visual Workplace

Uses low-cost visual devices to share information quickly and accurately.

System should focus on improvement, not merely monitoring.

Provides real-time information.

Can provide both production and financial data.

Saba Bahouth – UCO

work measurement labor standards
Work Measurement - Labor Standards

Standard time: The amount of time it should take a qualified worker to complete a specific task, working at a sustainable rate, using given methods, tools and equipment, raw materials, and workplace arrangement.

  • Costing labor content of products
  • Bidding
  • Planning staffing needs
  • Estimating expected production
  • Basing wage-incentive plans
  • Determining employee efficiency

Repairing a dent in a car

Saba Bahouth – UCO

time measurement sources of labor standards
Time MeasurementSources of Labor Standards

1. Time studies (Stopwatch)

2. Predetermined Time Standards

(Methods Time Measurement Association - MTM)

3. Historical experience OR

Standard Elemental Times

4. Work sampling

Saba Bahouth – UCO

1 time studies stopwatch
1. Time Studies (Stopwatch)

Labor standards are based on observing worker doing task

Observe only a sample of work

Use average time & pace to set standard


Requires a trained & experienced analyst

Standard cannot be set before task is performed

Observed time = Total Time / Number of observations

Normal Time = Observed Time x Performance Rating Factor

Standard Time = Normal Time x (1 + Allowance Factor)

Standard Time = Normal Time / (1 - Allowance Factor) [based on % of day]

Saba Bahouth – UCO

1a time studies stopwatch sample size
1a. Time Studies (Stopwatch)Sample Size

z = z value for the desired confidence level

s = standard deviation of the initial (trial) sample

h = acceptable percentage error in measurement

= mean of the initial (trial) sample

Therefore is the absolute acceptable error

Saba Bahouth – UCO

2 predetermined time standards
2. Predetermined Time Standards

Determined from times in published tables and data bases.

Most common: Method Time Measurement (MTM) Association

Thirbligs (Frank and Lillian) – MTM – TMU

1 TMU (Time Measurement Unit) = 0.00001 hr. = 0.0006 minute


Divide manual work into basic elements.

Look up basic element times in table.


Saba Bahouth – UCO

3 historical experience or standard elemental times
3. Historical Experience ORStandard Elemental Times
  • Relatively easy, convenient, and inexpensive
  • From existing company files
  • Unknown accuracy
  • Need updating for time and productivity
  • Valuable for firms with no other sources of information
  • Companies protect this information very carefully

Saba Bahouth – UCO

4 work sampling
4. Work Sampling

Labor standard is set using output and % of time a worker spends on tasks.

Involves observing worker at random times over a long period.


Less expensive than time studies

Observer requires little training

Does not require timing and continuous observation


Ineffective with short cycles

Saba Bahouth – UCO