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HRM: Work process design Overview

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1 HRM: Work process design Overview

2 Zwei Gesichter der Arbeit (Lewin, 1920)
Arbeit ist einmal Mühe, Last, Kraftauf-wand. Wer nicht durch Renten oder Herrschaft oder Liebe versorgt ist, muss notgedrungen arbeiten, um seinen Lebensunterhalt zu verdienen. Arbeit ist unentbehrliche Voraus-setzung zum Leben, aber sie ist selbst noch nicht wirkliches Leben. Darum Arbeit so kurz und so bequem wie möglich! Wenn die Arbeit dazu gleich-förmiger und einseitiger werden muss, so schadet dies nichts, solange es ihrer Produktivität keinen Abbruch tut. Denn aller positiver Wert kommt dieser Arbeit nur indirekt zu, nur durch die wirtschaftlichen Vorteile, die sie dem Arbeitenden bietet. Die Arbeit ist dem Menschen unentbehr-lich in ganz anderem Sinn. Nicht weil die Notdurft des Lebens sie erzwingt, sondern weil das Leben ohne Arbeit hohl und halb ist. Dieses Bedürfnis nach Arbeit, die Flucht vor dauernden Müssiggang, die bei zu kurzer Arbeitszeit zur Arbeit ausserhalb des Berufs treibt, beruht nicht auf blosser Gewohnheit zu arbeiten, sondern gründet sich auf den 'Lebenswert' der Arbeit. Weil die Arbeit selbst Leben ist, darum will man auch alle Kräfte des Lebens an sie heran-bringen und in ihr auswirken können. Darum will man die Arbeit reich und weit, vielgestaltig und nicht krüppelhaft beengt. Der Fortschritt der Arbeitsweise gehe also nicht auf mögliche Verkürzung der Arbeits-zeit, sondern auf Steigerung des Lebens-werts der Arbeit, mache sie reicher und menschenwürdiger.

3 Psychosocial functions of work (Jahoda, 1984)
material means of existence activity / competence structuring of time cooperation / social contact social approval sense of personal identity

4 Job design as crucial measure for personnel development
Design of humane work tasks in order to further health competencies personality based on the psychosocial functions of work

5 Beginnings of modern job design
Hawthorne Studies, see also:

6 Beginnings of modern job design

7 Criteria for humane work tasks (from Ulich, 1998)

8 Motivation through the design of work (Hackman & Oldham, 1976)
Core job dimensions Critical psychological states Personal and work outcomes Skill variety Task identity Task significance Experiences meaningfulness of work Experienced responsibility for outcome of work Knowledge of actual results of work activities High internal work motivation High quality work performance High satisfaction with work Low absenteeism and turnover Autonomy Feedback Employee growth need strength

9 Core characteristics of humane work: Complete tasks
sequential completeness Cycle of goal setting, planning, execution, control and correction hierarchical completeness demands on action regulation at different levels of complexity (skill-, rule- und knowledge-based actions) Reversal of tayloristic principles

10 The five principles of Taylorism
Separation of planning and doing Responsibility for planning at management level; implementation as sole shopfloor responsibility "one best way" of task execution Definition of the more efficient way of task execution based on scientific methods; every worker executes only one step in the overall task Selection of the best person Definition of qualification profile for each task step, selection of the appropriate person Reduction of training Training for the more efficient way of executing each task step, workers are easily replaced Control Surveillance of adherence to the prescribed work methods and of achievement of required results

11 Objectives of job design
Autonomy: Self-determination regarding goals and rules for goal achievement. Control: Influence on situations in order to achieve goals which can be self-determined or determined by others. Prerequisite for effective use of control: Transparency and predictability of work situation.

12 Design rules regarding autonomy and control
Control should be at a maximum. But: Management and staff positions can only provide indirect control via line employees. Control without autonomy is possible if strong identification with goals determined by others can be achieved. Autonomy without control contains high potential for frustration (e.g. staff functions without direct influence on the line of command)


14 Design of complete tasks
individual tasks: horizontal (job enlargement), i.e. adding tasks with the same qualification profile Usually neither improvement of sequential (= complete cycles of goal setting - planning - executing - controlling - correcting) nor hierarchical completeness (= different levels of task complexity) vertical (job enrichment), i.e. adding tasks with more complex qualification profiles Opportunity for improving both sequential and hierarchical completeness job rotation, i.e. changes between tasks with same or different qualification profiles Opportunity for improving sequential and hierarchical completeness depending on tasks collective tasks: self-regulating teams, i.e. assignment of a complete task to a group Opportunity for improving both sequential and hierarchical completeness

15 Work in self-regulating (="semi-autonomous") teams
several people, working together for some time, in order to reach common goals, having a group identity. "semi-autonomous": The team can decide or participate in decision-making on several of the following issues: production goals (amount and quality) task spectrum production methods work schedule representation of group in the organization internal management of the group group membership internal distribution of tasks individual work methods

16 Example: Reorganizing production of medicinal instruments
Before After Production distributed across three departments Scheduling per operation Planner in different departments/location Internal coordination by shift supervisor Boundary regulation by shift supervisor High specialization in individual tasks Bonus based on department performance Production groups based on functional integration per product type Scheduling for whole jobs Planner in same location as production Internal coordination by production groups Boundary regulation by shift supervisor (incl. Involvement in development of new production concepts) Increasing polyvalence, individual and group tasks Bonus based on group performance Significant reduction in lead time Objectively and subjectively better working conditions Still tight and unrealistic scheduling

17 Advantages of teams developing ideas
discovering and compensating individual errors furthering systems view supporting shared task orientation offering reciprocal support alleviating individual work load "synergy"

18 Disadvantages of teams
friction conformity and groupthink levelling of individual performance diffusion of responsibility devaluation of other groups

19 Prerequisites for good team work
Adequate common task Complexity higher than individual competencies Clear performance criteria Collective decision competence Shared goal orientation Positive goal coupling Goal transparency and feedback Adequate group composition Different perspectives on the task Shared language Development of group rules Adequate group size Support for team development (form, storm, norm, perform) Explicit handling of conflicts between individual and collective autonomy

20 Design of teams (Richardson & Carter, 2008)
“Real teams” Clear objectives Necessity of working together Regular meetings to discuss team effectiveness “Pseudo teams” No clear objectives and/or no necessity of working together and/or no regular meetings  team work per se is not necessarily effective, only well-designed teams reported less work pressure and less work-related stress

21 Design of teams (Hackman & Wageman, 2005)
Facilitating team performance with regard to specific times in the task performance process Beginnings Midpoints Ends/End of cycle Task performance process of the team (t) Motivation-focused interventions Consultative interventions Education-focused interventions

22 And don't forget individual job design ...
Empowerment better predicts company performance than technology-based management practices (Patterson et al., 2004)

23 Considering individual differences in job design
Participative und differential-dynamic job design: Involvement in organizational change decisions and offer of choices regarding job design options allows for consideration of individual needs and competencies „Job crafting“: Opportunities for self-determined adaption of work tasks according to changing individual needs and competencies Management by Objectives (MbO): Systematic furthering of individual motivation through tailored goals and ways for goal achievement General objective: no fixation of individual differences, but individually tailored support

24 Fundamental objective of job design
Create conditions that support people in being capable (competence) and also wanting (motivation) to do their job well

25 Stress at work Stress = a situation with demands that cannot be met by personal resources 28% of employees in 15 EU member countries suffer from work-related stress (survey responses 2002) Reported causes: Lack of control, e.g. regarding planning (35%), work duration (55%), time pressure (29%) Monotony Mobbing Job insecurity Reported effects: Heart problems (Men:16%, women: 22%) Absenteeism (50-60%) Estimated costs 20 billion Euro

26 Stress at work During the past 12 months, how many days did you work despite an illness or injury because you felt you had to? Presenteeism (Aronsson et al., 2000) … continuing to work while sick or distressed Associated with (Caverly et al., 2007) Increased overtime Decreased job security, career opportunities, trust in co-workers, supervisor support job satisfaction Reasons: No back-ups, heavy workload, deadlines, strong work commitment No indication that employees who come to work while ill are any less sick than those who did not come

27 Exp.: Stress in anaesthesia (Nyssen et al., 2003)
Overall moderate levels of stress, but especially younger anaesthetists suffered from emotional exhaustion and reported lack of empowerment and support Major stressors in anaesthesia: Lack of control over work Time planning and risks Lack of supervision Communication within the team What do to? Improve formal work organization Positive social climate („Psychological Safety“) Improve social support

28 Effects of good job design: Stress reduction
Interaction of job demands and decision latitude (Karasek, 1979) Appraisal of stressors & coping with stress (Lazarus, 1993) Important resources are control (=means of influence): given (objective) and perceived (subjective) qualification social support

29 Stress and Job Design Job Stress can impair well-being and performance, but can be reduced by appropriate job design.

30 HRM: Work process design Overview

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