Conceptual Paper on Job Enrichment Ritesh Dhak 12PGP090 Abstract: This is a conceptual paper to study the phenomenon of ‘Job Enrichment’ in details. The various studies carried out on this topic. It’s relation with phenomenon of ‘motivation’ and ‘Job satisfaction’. It also deals with the effective job enrichment programs and implementing them. Introduction: Job enrichment is a type of job redesign intended to reverse the effects of tasks that are repetitive requiring little autonomy. The underlying principle is to expand the scope of the job with a greater variety of tasks, vertical in nature, that require self-sufficiency.
It is an idea that was developed by the American psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s. The first who tried to introduce the concept of job enrichment and modifications were the practitioners in the beginning of the 20th century in order to increase the performance of employees. What was in the fashion at that time were simplification and specialization of the tasks, which, in collaboration with scientists, confirmed to be useful to enhance the efficiency of the production (Taylor 1911, Gilbreth 1911, as cited in Morgeson & Campion 2002).
Another wave of the approach, at that time called job enlargement, began with an initiative of IBM in the mid-1940s, which included both enlargement and enrichment of the jobs, intending to introduce more interest, variety and significance into the work (Miner 2002). But initial work on job enrichment practices is done by Frederick Herzberg in the 1950’s and 60’s, Frederick Herzberg performed studies to determine which factors in an employee’s work environment caused satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
He published his findings in the 1959 book ‘The Motivation to Work,’ he name his theory as Herzberg’s Motivation-hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory), which was further refined in 1971 by Hackman & Lawler (1971) and further by 1975 by Hackman and Oldham using what they called the Job Characteristics Model. This model assumes that if five core job characteristics are present, three psychological states critical to motivation are produced, resulting in positive outcomes. Important Theories: Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory)
Herzberg conducted a study where he asked employees about the factors causing satisfaction and dissatisfaction at their workplace. Herzberg found that the factors causing job satisfaction (and presumably motivation) were different from that causing job dissatisfaction. He developed the motivation-hygiene theory to explain these results. He called the satisfiers motivators and the dissatisfies hygiene factors, using the term “hygiene” in the sense that they are considered maintenance factors that are necessary to avoid dissatisfaction but that by themselves do not provide satisfaction.
According to the Frederick Herzberg’s study the factors which affect Job Attitudes are Leading to Dissatisfaction Leading to Satisfaction Company policyAchievement SupervisionRecognition Relationship w/BossWork itself Work conditionsResponsibility SalaryAdvancement Relationship w/PeersGrowth These factors being different from each other Herzberg said that these two feeling can’t be treated as opposite of each other. Herzberg further argued that there are two distinct human needs portrayed. First, there are physiological needs that can be fulfilled by money, for example, to purchase food and shelter.
Second, there is the psychological need to achieve and grow, and this need is fulfilled by activities that cause one to grow. Herzberg stated that the job enrichment is required for intrinsic motivation. According to Herzberg: •The job should have sufficient challenge to utilize the full ability of the employee. •Employees who demonstrate increasing levels of ability should be given increasing levels of responsibility. •If a job cannot be designed to use an employee’s full abilities, then the firm should consider automating the task or replacing the employee with one who has a lower level of skill.
If a person cannot be fully utilized, then there will be a motivation problem. Job Characteristics Theory According to this theory there are four important concepts: core job characteristics, critical psychological states, outcomes, and moderators. The theory proposes that high levels of outcomes are obtained when the critical psychological states are present for a given employee. The theory states that these critical psychological states are created by the presence of the core job characteristics, in a way that is specified later in the text.
Each of those relationships is moderated by several moderators which may differ for each individual (Hackman & Oldham 1975). The following five features are considered in the model Skill variety – It is the degree to which a job requires a variety of different activities during the work to involve the use of a number of different skills and talents of the employee. Task identity – It is the degree to which the job requires completion of a ”whole” and identifiable piece of work that is, doing a job from beginning to end with a visible outcome.
Task significance – It is the degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of the other people whether in the immediate organization or in the external environment. Autonomy – It is the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the employee in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out. Feedback from job – It is the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the employee obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.
There are three critical psychological states provided by the model experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for the outcomes of the work and knowledge of the actual results of the work activities which result into three outcomes Internal work motivation, Growth satisfaction, General Job satisfaction and Work effectiveness. Further research has shown that the psychological needs of people are very important in determining who can (and who cannot) become internally motivated at work with enriched job.
Some people have strong needs for personal accomplishment, for learning and developing themselves beyond where they are now, for being stimulated and challenged, and so on. These people are high in “growth-need strength. ” These people get motivated with enriched jobs while the people who are not interested in improving themselves in jobs do not get much affected with enriched job. The diagnostic tools- The instrumental gauge in assessing the target job and employee for it are as follows. 1. The objective characteristics of the jobs itself indicate the “motivating potential” of the job using MPS score. . The current levels of motivation, satisfaction, and work performance of employees on the job and how people feel about other aspects of the work setting, such as pay, supervision, and relationships with co-workers. 3. The level of growth-need strength of the employees. Employees who have strong growth needs are more likely to be more responsive to job enrichment than employees with weak growth needs. In order for a job enrichment program to produce positive results, worker needs and organizational needs must be analyzed and acted upon.
As per Cunningham and Eberle (1990), before enrichment program following questions should be asked: 1. Do employees need jobs that involve responsibility, variety, feedback, challenge, accountability, significance, and opportunities to learn? 2. What techniques can be implemented without changing the job classification plan? 3. What techniques would require changes in the job classification plan? Conclusion: Job enrichment is an important phenomenon in the motivation and employee engagement.
Research studies on job enrichment found out decreased levels of absenteeism among the employees, reduced employee turnover and a manifold increase in job satisfaction. There are certain cases however where job enrichment can lead to a decrease in productivity, especially when the employees have not been trained properly. Even after the training the process may not show results immediately, it takes time to reflect in the profit line. Refrences: 1. ‘Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory)’ from www. abahe. co. uk 2.
J Richard Hackman, Greg Oldham, Robert Janson and Kenneth Purdy A new Strategy for Job Enrichment (Motivating Individuals in Organizational settings) 3. Peter Jacko Enriching the Job Enrichment Theory – Research Methods for the Social Scientist March 04 ( Carlos III University in Madrid Department of Business Administration) 4. Mary T. Guise Test of Hackman and Oldhmam’s Job Chaaracteristics Model in a Post Secondary Educational Setting (COLLEGE OF EDUCATION BROCK UNIVERSITY St. Catharines, Ontario September, 1988) 5. J. Barton Cunningham and Ted Eberle A guide to job enrichment and redesign (COPYRIGHT American Management Association 1990)