Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scientific Method of Job Design

In the last byte, we initiated the discussion on some of the traditional approaches to Job Design. In today's byte, we look the Scientific Method of job design.
The genesis of the scientific management approach is attributed to Frederick Taylor, and emphasizes on Work Simplification.
Work Simplification refers to "Standardization and the narrow, explicit specification of task activities for workers."
Through scientific management, jobs are often designed to have limited number of tasks, and each task is scientifically specified so that worker is not required to think of deliberate. (The management calibrates and defines task carefully, and the worker only executes the task).
Some of the elements of scientific management are - time and motion studies, differential piece-rate systems to pay, the scientific selection of workers, and focus on the efficient use of labor for the economic benefits of the corporation.
2 arguments that support the efficient and standardized approach to job design are:
  1. Work simplification allowed workers of diverse ethnic and skill backgrounds to work together in a scientific way.
  2. Work simplification also leads to production efficiency in the organization and therefore to higher profits.
The limitation of this approach is that it undervalues the human capacity for thought and ingenuity. Failure to fully utilize the workers' capacity in a constructive fashion may cause a variety of work problems.

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