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What are the Methods of Job Design?

 What are the Methods of Job Design?

What are the Methods of Job Design?
What are the Methods of Job Design?

The various techniques of job design and redesign are discussed below:

1.            Job Simplification: In job simplification, the complete job is broken down into small subparts; this is done so that employees can do these jobs without much-specialized training. Moreover, small operations of the job can also be performed simultaneously so that the complete operation can be done more quickly.

For job simplification, generally, time and motion studies are used.

2.            Job Rotation: Another technique designed to enhance employee motivation is job rotation, or periodically assigning employees to alternating jobs or tasks. For example, an employee may spend two weeks attaching bumpers to vehicles and the following two weeks making final checks of the chassis. During the next month, the same employee may be assigned two different jobs. Therefore, the employee would be rotated among four jobs. The advantage of job rotation is that employees do not have the same routine job day after day.  Job rotation only addresses the problem of assigning employees to jobs of limited scope; the depth of the job does not change.  The job cycle of the actual daily work performed has not been lengthened or changed. Instead, employees are simply assigned to different jobs with different cycles.

Because job rotation does not change the basic nature of jobs, it is criticized as nothing more than having an employee perform several boring and monotonous jobs rather than one. Some employees dislike job rotation more than being assigned to one boring job because when they are assigned to one job they know exactly where to report and what work to expect each day. Workers quickly realize that job rotation does not increase their interest in their work.

Although it seldom addresses the lack of employee motivation, it gives managers a means of coping with frequent absenteeism and high turnover. Thus when absenteeism or turnover occurs in the workforce, managers can quickly fill the vacated position because each employee can perform several jobs.

Job rotation is often effectively used as a training technique for new, inexperienced employees. At higher organizational levels, rotation also helps to develop managerial generalists because it exposes them to several different operations.

Advantage of Job Rotation Technique:

        The employee experiences a variety of work, workplace, and peer groups.    Job rotation helps to broaden the knowledge and skills of an employee.

        The main advantage of job rotation is that it relieves the employee from the boredom and monotony of doing the same job.

        With the help of this method, people become more flexible. They are prepared to assume responsibility, especially in other positions.

        Job rotation broadens the work experience of employees and turns specialists into generalists.

        It is beneficial for the management also as the management gets employees who can perform a variety of tasks to meet the contingencies.

        This method improves the self-image and personal worth of the employee.

The disadvantage of the Job Rotation Technique:

        Job rotation also creates disruptions. Members of the workgroup have to adjust to the new employee.

        Productivity is reduced by moving a worker into a new position just when his efficiency at the prior job was creating organizational economies.

        Training costs are increased.

        The supervisor may also have to spend more time answering questions and monitoring the work of the recently rotated employee.

        It can demotivate intelligent and ambitious trainees who seek specific responsibilities in their chosen specialty.

3.            Job Enlargement: Another means of increasing employees’ satisfaction with routine jobs is job enlargement, or increasing the number of tasks performed (i.e. increasing the scope of the job). Job enlargement, like job rotation, tries to eliminate short job cycles that create boredom. Unlike job rotation, job enlargement actually increases the job cycle. When a job is enlarged, either the tasks being performed are enlarged or several short tasks are given to one worker. Thus, the scope of the job is increased because there are many tasks to be performed by the same worker. Job enlargement programs change many methods of operation- in contrast to job rotation, in which the same work procedures are used by workers who rotate through work stations. Although job enlargement actually changes the pace of the work and the operation by reallocating tasks and responsibilities, it does not increase the depth of a job.

The focus of designing work for job enlargement is the exact opposite of that for job specialization. Instead of designing jobs to be divided up into the fewest of tasks per employee, a job is designed to have many tasks for the employee to perform. An enlarged job requires a longer training period because there are more tasks to be learned. Worker satisfaction should increase because is reduced as the job scope is expanded. However, job enlargement programs are successful with jobs that have increased scope; such workers are less prone to resort to absenteeism, grievances, slowdowns, and other means of displaying job dissatisfaction.

Enlargement is done only on the horizontal level. Thus, the job remains the same but becomes of a larger scale than before. In the words of Geroge Strauss and L.R. Sayles “Job enlargement implies that instead of assigning one man to each job, a group of men can be assigned to a group of jobs and then allowed to decide for themselves how to organize the work. Such changes permit more social contacts and control over the work process.”

Job enlargement has the following advantages:

        Increase in the diversity of jobs

        Job satisfaction

        Provides wholeness and identity with the task and increases the knowledge necessary to perform it.

        Provides a variety of skills.

        Reduces tension and boredom.

        Trains and develops more versatile employees.

Despite these advantages, this is not a completely satisfactory method of job design as it does not increase the depth of a job. Enlarged jobs require a longer training period as there are more tasks to be learned.

4.            Job Enrichment: The concept of job enrichment has been derived from Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation in which he has suggested that job content is one of the basic factors of motivation. If the job is designed in such a manner that it becomes more interesting and challenging to the job performer and provides him opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and growth, the job itself becomes a source of motivation to the individual.

According to Richard W. Beatty and Graig Eric. Schneider, “Job enrichment is a motivational technique which emphasizes the need for challenging and interesting work. It suggests that jobs be redesigned so that intrinsic satisfaction is derived from doing the job. In its best applications, it leads to a vertically enhanced job by adding function from other organizational levels, making it contain more variety and challenge and offer autonomy and pride to the employee.”

According to P. Robbins, “Job enrichment refers to the vertical expansion of the jobs. It increases the degree to which the worker controls the planning, execution, and evaluation of his work.”

In the words of Robert Albanese, “Job enrichment sometimes called. “vertical job leading’ is a job redesign strategy that focuses on job depth.”

According to Mondy. Holmes, and Flippo, “Job enrichment refers to basic changes in the content and level of responsibility of a job so to provide for the satisfaction of the motivation needs of personnel. Rebert Ford, who was associated with designing jobs to make them more enriched, has provided some bases (though not exhaustive) for job enrichment as shown in Table 3.3.

Table 3.2: Job Enrichment Bases



Motivator involved

Assign a specific or specialized task to individuals enabling them to become expert

Responsibility, growth, advancement

Making periodic reports directly available to the individual himself rather than to the supervisor. 

Internal recognition 

Giving a person a whole, natural unit of work (module, exchange district, division, area, etc.)

Responsibility, achievement, recognition

Increasing the accountability of individuals for their own work 

Responsibility, recognition  


Techniques of Job Enrichment: To enrich the jobs. The management should adopt the following measures:

        Freedom in decisions

        Assign a natural work unit to an employee.

        Encouraging participation

        Allow the employee to set his own standards of performance.

        Minimize the controls to provide freedom to the employees

        Make an employee directly responsible for his performance.

        Encourage participation of employees in deciding organizational goals and policies.

        Expand job vertically

        Introducing new, difficult, and creative tasks to the employees.

        Sense of achievement.

Advantages of Job Enrichment:  The advantages of job enrichment are as follows:

        It enriches the role.

        Job enrichment is the most widely used job design as it provides meaningful learning to employees.

        It makes the work interesting and employees get motivated.

        It helps in reducing the rate of labor turnover and absenteeism.

        It increases the skills of the employees.

        It increases morale and performance.

        Reduce Boredom and dissatisfaction.

        Increase in output both qualitative and quantitative.

Disadvantages of Job Enrichment: Dunham and Newstrom state, “Even the strongest supporters of job enrichment readily admit that there are limitations in its application.” Newstrom and Keith Davis also write, “Employees are the final judges of what enriches their jobs. All that management can do is to gather information about what tends to enrich jobs, try these changes in the job system, and then determine whether employees feel that enrichment has occurred.” A few limitations or problems with job enrichment are as follows:

        Increase cost

        Need more employee counseling, training, and guidance.

        Not applicable to all jobs.

        Negative impact on personnel, Imposed on people.

        Objected by unions

        Pay dissatisfaction


Job enlargement and job enrichment are both important forms of job design to enhance the productivity and satisfaction of the employees. They differ from each other in the following respects:

1.    Nature of Job: The major difference between job enrichment and enlargement lies in additions to the job. Enlargement involves a horizontal loading or expansion, or addition of tasks of the same nature. Enrichment involves the vertical loading of tasks and responsibility of the job holder; it improves the quality of the job in terms of its intrinsic worth.

2.    Purpose:  The purpose of job enlargement is to reduce the monotony in performing repetitive jobs by lengthening the cycle of operation. On the other hand, the purpose of job enrichment is to make the job lively, challenging, and satisfying. It satisfies the higher-level needs such as ego satisfaction, self-expression, sense of achievement, and advancement of Job holders.

3.    Skill Requirement: Job enlargement may not necessarily require the use of additional skills that the job holder was used in performing the job before the enlargement. This is due to the similarity of additional tasks. Enrichment calls for the development and utilization of higher skills, initiative, and innovation on the part of the job holder in performing the job.

4.    Direction and Control: Job enlargement requires direction and control from external sources, said the supervisor. In fact, the job holder may require more direction and control because of the enlargement of his responsibility.  Enrichment does not require external direction and control as these come from the job holder himself. He requires only feedback from his supervisor.


        The purpose of an organization is to give each person a separate distinct job and to ensure that these jobs are coordinated in such a way that the organization accomplishes its goals.

        Developing an organizational structure results in jobs that have to be staffed. Job analysis is the procedure through which you find out (1) what the job entails, and (2) what kinds of people should be hired for the job. It involves six steps: (1) determine the use of the job analysis information; (2) collection of background information; (3) selection of jobs for analysis; (4) collection of job analysis data; (5) process the information; (6) preparing job descriptions and job classifications; and (7) developing job specifications.

        Techniques of job analysis are – observation method, questionnaires, participant diary/logs, interview, critical incidents, technical conference method, and job performance.

        Job description and job specification are products of job analysis. The job description should indicate: the duties to be performed by the job holder and the manner he should complete the tasks. Job specification: answer the question “what human traits and experience are necessary to do the job.

It portrays what kind of person to recruit and for what qualities that person should be tested”.

        Job design is an attempt to create a match between job requirements and job attributes. Job rotation implies transfer to a job of the same level and status.  Job simplification enables the employees to do them without much-specialized training

        Job enlargement is the process of increasing the scope of the job of a particular by adding more tasks to it. And job enrichment implies increasing the contents of a job or the deliberate upgrading of responsibility scope and challenges in work.

        Job enlargement and job enrichment are both important forms of job design to enhance the productivity and satisfaction of the jobholders.

Self Assessment Questions


What do you understand by job analysis? What is its importance in the management of human resources?


What is job analysis? What steps are involved in the preparation of job analysis?


What are the byproducts of job analysis? Discuss the techniques used for collecting data for job analysis?


What is the job description? How is it prepared?


Define job specifications? How is it different from the job description?


Write notes on :

(i)  Job Rotation

(ii)Job Simplification


Distinguish between :

(a)  Job description and job specification

(b)  Job enlargement and job enrichment


“Job analysis is the most basic personnel management function.” Discuss.


Clearly define and discuss the relationship between job analysis, job description, and job specification.

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