What is Job Design and its importance in Business Management?

Compiled by: Afroza Binte Maleque Bithi

What is job design? Job design is a management function.Job design refers to the specific activities to organize tasks, duties and responsibilities into a unit of work to achieve desired objectives.

Job design involves three steps as follows:

  1. The specification of individual tasks
  2. The specification of the methods to perform each task
  3. The combination of tasks into specific jobs to be assigned to individuals

Jobs are more than a collection of tasks recorded and summarized in a job description. Jobs are the foundation of organizational productivity and employee satisfaction. The design of jobs has a critical impact on organizations and employee objectives. The way tasks and responsibilities are grouped can affect productivity and costs of an organization. A properly designed job is productive and satisfying. Jobs that are not satisfying or are too demanding are difficult to fill. Boring jobs may lead to higher turnover vis-à-vis low productivity. The motivation and job satisfaction are affected by the match between job factors (content, qualifications and rewards) and personnel needs. Justifiably a well planned and well design job can help both the organization and its employees achieve their desired objectives.

Factors affecting Job Design:

Job design is affected  by various factors. These factors must be taken into consideration when designing jobs for the employees. The factors are given below:

  1. Organizational factors: The organizational factors include  the elements like  characteristics of task ( individual task , group task or split task in an assembly line); work flow(sequence or balance of work);, ergonomics (designing and shaping jobs to fit the physical abilities and characteristics of individuals); and work practices( ways of performing work)..
  2. Environmental factors: The external factors that are considered during job design include the elements like employees abilities and availability (efficiency aspect must be balanced against the abilities and availability of the people who are to do the work); and social and cultural expectations (the specific expectations .of workers need to be taken care of). When jobs are designed for international operations  inter-cultural aspects and social context must be looked into while designing jobs in order to provide job motivation for the employee)
  3. Behavioral factors-Behavioral factors are associated with human needs and satisfaction. Employees are inspired and find the jobs challenging and satisfying when the desired behavioral factors are positively considered in job design for them. The behavioral factors include the elements like feedback, job autonomy, opportunity to use of ability and job variety.

The foregoing discussions indicate that there is a significant relationship between job design and productivity of a business organization. It also indicates the prime importance of job design. This also indicates that job design is an important management function to stabilize the productivity and profitability of any business organization. The profit planning and profit making is central to any business organization and the concerned employees are considered to be the heart of the organization.  This amply suggests that the management of business organization should be responsive and committed to opt for appropriate job design in order to get maximum labor productivity out of optimum utilization of limited resources. Go to job Design Approach for details.

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