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What do you mean by Job Specification and Job Design?

What do you mean by Job Specification?

What do you mean by Job Specification and Job Design?
 What do you mean by Job Specification and Job Design?

The job specification states the minimum acceptable qualifications that the incumbent must possess to perform the job successfully. Based on the information acquired through job analysis, the job specification identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the job effectively. Individuals possessing the personal characteristics identified in the job specification should perform the job more effectively than individuals lacking these personal characteristics. The job specification, therefore, is an important tool in the selection process, for it keeps the selector’s attention on the list of qualifications necessary for an incumbent to perform the job and assists in determining whether candidates are qualified.

According to Dale Yoder, “The job specification, as such a summary properly described is thus a specialized job description, emphasizing personnel requirement and designed especially to facilitate selection and placement.”

Flippo has defined job specification as “Job specification is a statement of the minimum acceptable human qualities necessary to perform a job properly ………….. It is a standard of personnel and designates the qualities required for acceptable performance.”

It is clear from the above definitions that job specification is a statement of summary of personnel requirements for a job. It may also be called “standard of personal for the selection”

A Job Specification should include:

(i)              Physical characteristics, which include health, strength, endurance, age, height, weight, vision, voice, eye, hand and foot coordination, motor coordination, and color discrimination.

(ii)            Psychological and social characteristics such as emotional stability, flexibility, decision-making ability, analytical view, mental ability, pleasing manners, initiative, conversational ability, etc.

(iii)          Mental Characteristics such as general intelligence, memory, judgment, ability to concentrate, foresight, etc.

(iv)           Personal Characteristics such as sex, education, family background, job experience, hobbies, extracurricular activities, etc.

All these characteristics must be classified into three categories:

        Essential attributes which a person must possess.

        Desirable attributes which a person ought to possess.

        Contra indicators that will become a handicap to successful job performance.

What do you mean by Job Design?

Job design is of comparatively recent origin. The human resource managers have realized that the design of a job has considerable influence on productivity and job satisfaction; poorly designed jobs often result in boredom for the employees, increased turnover, job dissatisfaction, low productivity, and an increase in overall costs of the organization. All these negative consequences can be avoided with the help of proper job design.

According to Jon Werner and DeSimone, “Job design is the development and alteration of the components of a job (such as the tasks one performs, and the scope of one’s responsibilities) to improve productivity and the quality of the employees’ work life.”

Job design has been defined by Davis (1966) as: “The specification of the contents, methods, and relationships of jobs to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job-holder.”

Milkovich and Boudreau defined job design as, “Job design integrates work content (tasks, functions, and relationships), the rewards (extrinsic and intrinsic) and the qualifications required (skills, knowledge, abilities) for each job in a way that meets the needs of employees and the organization.”

Michael Armstrong has defined job design as “the process of deciding on the content of a job in terms of its duties and responsibilities, on the methods to be used in carrying out the job, in terms of techniques, systems, and procedures, and on the relationships that should exist between the job holder and his superiors, subordinates, and colleagues.”

Job design is an attempt to create a match between job requirements and human attributes. It involves organizing the components of the job and the interaction patterns among the members of a workgroup. It helps in developing the appropriate design of jobs to improve efficiency and satisfaction.

Principles of Job Design:

Principles are the basis of the approach used in job design. Robertson and Smith (1985) have suggested the following five principles of job design:

        To influence skill variety, provide opportunities for people to do several tasks and combine tasks.

        To influence task identity, combine tasks from natural work units.

        To influence task significance, form natural work units, and inform people of the importance of their work.

        To influence autonomy, give people responsibility for determining their own working systems.

        To influence feedback; establish a good relationship and open feedback channels.

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