Implementing a team approach to job design is yet another means by which managers can exploit workers.

Essay by smar February 2006

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Job design is the process of deciding which tasks and responsibilities shall be undertaken by particular employees, and the methods, systems and procedures for completing work. It encompasses two perspectives: developing motivation for individuals and increasing organisational outcomes. "The theory of job design, as we know it today, rests largely on the premise that effective performance and genuine satisfaction in work follow mainly from the intrinsic content of the job" (Cooper, 1974, p. 12). Modern organisations want an efficient and productive workflow as well as satisfied employees. The team approach has the ability to fulfil these criteria. Whether an organisation's management implement a team approach for humanistic reasons or on efficiency and productivity grounds, employees may or may not agree with this approach to job design. For some, it fulfils emotional and social needs, presenting the chance for skill enhancement; for others, the team restricts and inhibits individual needs and brings about pressures to conform to group norms.

Depending on the task, the technology involved, the structure of the organisation and how the team is formed in terms of authority, co-ordination and communication, and the attitudes, behaviours and expectations of the people involved, a team can be prosperous or ineffective for both the members and the organisation.

The foundations of job design developed from the study of the motivating needs of individuals in the workplace. Scientific management theorist, Frederick Winslow Taylor, identified money as the key motivator for employees, thus a high efficiency of work and output productivity was required to achieve this. The solution to this was a bureaucratic administrative system and a hierarchical structure (Dawson, 1996). This was achieved by a high level of standardisation and formalisation of tasks, a high division of labour and close monitoring from highly trained managers. Consequently, employees had little responsibility, rigidly...