Job Design Improves Motivation and Performance l. Introduction to IBM What is evidence-based management? Evidence-based management (IBM) means that “managerial decisions & organizational practices are informed by the best available scientific evidence. ” So many decisions are being made by dogma and belief, relying on success or failure experiences or believing there is one “best” model or process. However, these are not so-called evidence. Big “E” and little “e” constitute the real “evidence”.
Big “E” means generalize information about cause- effect connections derived from scientific methods while little “e” denotes organization-specific, as exemplified by root cause analysis and other fact-based approaches. We can get these evidences through field experiment, questionnaire, observation and archival study, etc. Why IBM is important to our daily managerial life and what is its goal? As I mentioned before, we can collect the evidence via different methods from respect to control & naturalness of setting. Therefore, facts and evidence are good leveler of hierarchy.
Evidence-based practice has powers to replace formal authority, reputation and intuition with data. If taken seriously, “IBM can change how every manager thinks and acts. IBM is a way of seeing the world and thinking about the mastery of management; it makes us face the dangerous half-truth which constitute so much conventional wisdom about management; it is conducted best not by know-it-alls but by managers who profoundly appreciate how much they do not know; it is founded in the belief that using better, deeper logic and employing facts, to the extent possible, permits leaders to do their Jobs more effectively. II. Focal Topic Job design has been one of the most frequently researched human resource management practices. It is the process of defining how work will be performed and Evidence-Based Paper By Juntas-Way derives from the impact it may have on employee motivation. A model that shows how to make Jobs more motivating is the Job Characteristics Model, developed by Richard Hickman and Greg Lolled. This model describes Jobs in terms of five characteristics: 1. Skill variety?the extent to which a Job requires a variety of skills to carry out the tasks involved. . Task identity?the degree to which a Job requires completing a “whole” piece of work from beginning to end. 3. Task significance?the extent to which the Job has an important impact on the lives of other people. 4. Autonomy?the degree to which the Job allows an individual to make decisions about the way the work will be carried out. 5. Feedback?the extent to which a person receives clear information about performance effectiveness from the work itself.
Therefore, a well-designed Job will be one of the most essential factors that improve employees’ motivation and performance as well as promote a more effective management of the organization. Eminent scholars have identified the work design theories that resulted in valid and important influence on the organizational motivation and performance. For more than 40 years, work design theories have eloped scholars and practitioners to describe, explain, and change the experiences and behaviors of employees (e. G. , Hickman & Lolled, 1980).
Work design has been shown to affect behavioral outcomes such as performance, turnover, and absenteeism (e. G. , Fried & Ferris, 1987; Hickman & Lolled, 1976), psychological outcomes such as Job satisfaction, internal work motivation, stress, and burnout (e. G. , Parker & Wall, 1998). The meta-analysis of impact of work design by Humphrey, Nearing and Morrison (See chart 1) indicates that increase of the autonomy, interdependence and social support, etc. F a Job result in significant impacts on employees’ Job satisfaction and performance.
Meanwhile, these characteristics can also reduce, to some extent, employee’s turnover, stress and role ambiguity. These data can strongly indicate that Job design will improve employees’ motivation and enhance the organizational performance. Chart 1 Characteristic Job satisfaction Job Performance Turnover Intentions Stress Role Ambiguity Org Commitment Job Involvement Autonomy -. 01 . 37 . 30 Skill Variety . 07 -. 14 . 28 Task Significance -. 03 . 05 Interdependence . 18 -. 17 . 03 . 39 . 20 Feedback from Others . 2 -. 32 . 17 Social support . 12 . 26 Not gigs. Work Conditions -. 42 In a word, Ambrose and Kulak concluded, “After twenty years of research, a clear picture of the psychological and behavioral effects of Job design has emerged. ” Next, we will give more detailed research to demonstrate the importance of Job design to performance and motivation. Ill. Literature Review Article l: The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions 1 .
Brief Description Adam M. Grant, assistant professor at University of North Carolina, made the research about whether task significance increases Job performance. In 2007, Grant did 3 field experiments in order to reach the conclusions. 2. Major Takeaways from Articles’ Findings In Experiment 1, fundraising callers who received a task significance intervention increased their levels of Job performance relative to callers in 2 other conditions and to their own prior performance (Adam M. Grant, 2007).
The results are shown in the table 1. In Experiment 2, in order to answer whether the hypothesized mediating mechanisms of perceived social impact and perceived social worth explain these effects of task significance and whether these effects hold with different dependent rabbles, Grant examined these unanswered questions with lifeguards at a community recreation center by measuring the two mediators perceived social impact and social worth and two dependent variable Job dedication and helping behavior.
Thus, the table 2 further demonstrates that a different task significance manipulation with a different sample of employees showed increases in Job performance using two new measures of Job performance. In Experiment 3, to examine the boundary conditions for the effects of task significance on Job performance, Grant focused on a sample of newcomers to the organizations and obtained self-reports of conscientiousness and proboscis values. The two fugues below show that task significance is more likely to increase Job performance for employees with low levels of conscientiousness and strong proboscis values.
Article II: Job Design and Employee Motivation 1. Brief Description Edward E. Lawyer Ill, from Yale University focused on the reasons for expecting changes in Job design to affect employee motivation and performance in sass. 2. Major Takeaways from Article’s Findings First, Job content is the critical determinant of whether employees believe that good reference on the Job leads to feelings of accomplishment, growth, and self- esteem; that is whether individuals will find Jobs to be intrinsically motivating (Edward E. Lawyer Ill, 1969).
Meanwhile, changes in Job content can affect the relationship between performance and the reception of intrinsically-rewarding appear to be three characteristics which Jobs must possess if they are to arouse higher order needs and to create conditions such that people who perform them will come to expect that good performance will lead to intrinsic rewards. The first is that the individual must receive meaningful feedback about his performance. It may also mean the person may have to work on a whole product or a meaningful part of it.
The second is that the Job must be perceived by the individual as requiring him to use abilities that he values in order for him to perform the Job effectively. Only if an individual feels that his significant abilities are being tested by a Job can feelings of accomplishment and growth be expected to result from good performance. Several laboratory studies have in fact shown that, when people are given tasks they see as testing their valued abilities, greater motivation does appear (Edward E. Lawyer Ill, 1969).
Second, Edward E. Lawyer Ill addressed the question-what kind of Job enlargement is necessary if the Job is going to provide intrinsic motivation? The answer is that Jobs must be enlarged both vertically and horizontally. The horizontal dimension refers to the number and variety of the operations that an individual performs on the Job. The vertical dimension refers to the degree to which the Job holder controls the planning and execution of his Job and participates in the setting of organization policies.
However, excessive horizontal enlargement may well lead to a situation where meaningful feedback is impossible, and where the Job involves sing many additional abilities that the worker does not value. Article Ill: Effects of Task Autonomy on Performance: An Extended Model Considering Motivational, Informational, and Structural Mechanisms 1 . Brief Description Claus W. Langford from Washington University and .NET A. Money from Vanderbilt University created an extended model to explain the effects of granting task autonomy to individuals in organizations in 2004. 2.
Major Takeaways from Article’s Findings First, Langford and Money put forward the motivational mechanisms. They suggest that task autonomy will influence performance (high work effectiveness) through its effect on motivation. The relationship between task autonomy and performance is mediated by motivation such that greater task autonomy leads to higher performance by increasing motivation. However, authors propose that motivational effects of task autonomy are contingent on a variety of factors that reside at the individual level, including both state-based and trait-based individual differences.
Second, Langford and Money propose that autonomy affects individual performance because of issues related to information and decision making. According to the article, the more task information the individual has, the greater the potential reference benefit of granting autonomy to that individual (Langford & Money, 2004). Third, Langford and Money explore the relationship between autonomy and performance in the context of characteristics of the task and the organization.
There are two structural characteristics of the task that will influence the effect of autonomy on performance via task processes: task interdependence and task variability. They make two conclusions that when task interdependence is lower, the performance benefits of task autonomy are greater; when task variability is higher, the performance benefits of task autonomy are greater. In terms of organization organization is lower, the performance benefits of task autonomy are greater. Article ‘V: A Field Study of the Relationship between the Organizational Feedback Environment and Performance 1.
Brief Description Thomas E. Becker and Richard J. Kilos from Ohio State University investigated two research questions in 1989: (1) what sources of feedback are related to performance, and do any sources seem to be more related to performance than others? And (2) what types of feedback from the various sources are related to performance? (Becker & Kilos, 1989) 2. Major Takeaways from Article’s Findings Just as the table shown below, Becker and Kilos conclude that negative expression from organizational/supervisory sources (e. G. He supervisor expressing anger) are related to lower performance and positive Job changes initiated by these sources (e. G. Increasing responsibility and assignment to special Jobs) are related to higher performance. Higher performers do not receive more feedback than lower performers but do receive more total positive feedback (Becker & Kilos, 1989). IV. Transfer of Evidence to Practice 1 . Article l: The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions In terms of the findings in the article l, the degree of task significance has significant impact on Job performance.
And Job design is the foundation of human resource management. So, when human resources manager designs the Job, he or she needs to apply the results in The Significance of Task Significance to define how work will be performed. There are two recommendations for management practices. First, before employees start to work, supervisors should inform them of what major impact their behaviors will have on others. Second, supervisor should communicate more frequently about the task significance to employees with high proboscis values. 2.
Article II: Job Design and Employee Motivation How to motivate employees so as to improve Job performance is a major concern for most managers. The findings in Job Design and Employee Motivation provide us with answers in the aspects of Job design. Changes in Job content, specific feedback and job enlargement can be used by HER staff to motivate their employees. I have several recommendations to motivate employees. First of all, in order to improve employee motivation, there is a need to change Job content, including skill variety and task identity. Also, supervisors should give employees meaningful feedback in a proper manner.
In addition, supervisors can broaden the types of tasks performed by the means of Job extension and Job rotation. As for Job extension, they can enlarge the job by combing several relatively simple Jobs to form a Job with a wider range of tasks. Job rotation refers to moving employees among several different Jobs. 3. Article Ill: Effects of Task Autonomy on Performance: An Extended Model Considering Motivational, Informational, and Structural Mechanisms Whether supervisors should give employees more freedom to make decision or not is a hot topic in the equines management practices.
Article Ill answers this question: Yes, supervisors should increase task autonomy because it can increase Job performance by increasing employees’ motivation. Although some supervisors empower the decision- interdependence, and task variability. Several recommendations are presented as follows. First, when supervisors give freedom to employees, they should take care of their employees’ traits. Then, they should give more freedom to those people who are achievement-oriented and want more freedom.
Besides, in order to make task autonomy more effective, organizations should establish a culture that upholds hang, uncertainty and complexities. 4. Article lb. A Field Study of the Relationship between the Organizational Feedback Environment and Performance After completing the performance management, many supervisors are at a loss about what types of feedback should they give to their employees. This article supplies us with the results that negative expressions from supervisors can decrease Job performance, however, feedback about positive Job changes can improve Job performance.
First, I recommend that supervisors should be careful of their emotions while delivering feedbacks. It’s better to avoid expressing your anger and restoration while giving the feedback. Second, you should beware of how the feedback is delivered. It is efficient for supervisors to use “bookend” approach by which they can not only give positive feedback to employees but also present some improvement areas to employees. Third, supervisors need to give more positive feedbacks to employees, including high performers and low performers. V. Conditions, Context & Caveats 1 .
Strengths and weaknesses of evidence-based recommendations for article I Strengths: If supervisor informs employees of what major impact their behaviors will eave on others, employees will definitely experience the meaningfulness of the work, which will enhance their responsibility to do their Jobs. In such circumstances, the employees will be motivated to perform better. Furthermore, task significance also encourages employees to commit themselves more to the organizations. Weaknesses: It is obvious that after recognizing the significance of the task, employees are likely to feel much more pressure than ever before.
As a result, employees may distract their attention from work and may become anxious, which in turn reduces their Job performance and Job satisfaction. Therefore, it is critical for managers to communicate more with employees when enhancing their task significance through social support and frequent feedbacks. 2. Strengths and weaknesses of evidence-based recommendations for article II Strengths: When given more tasks or Jobs, initially employees will feel the lack of knowledge and then they can be motivated to learn more skills.
This would ultimately lead to a higher performance level. In terms of task identity, making employees know the process of the whole piece of work contributes to the organizational commitment and Job involvement. Weaknesses: However, learning new knowledge and skills may take a Eng time and can be difficult for some employees at first. And it is hard for people to handle all the problems at the beginning of the learning in light of their unfamiliarity. People may get discouraged in this case and cannot perform well.
Thus, before managers implement Job extension or rotation, it is better to consider the qualifications and readiness of employees and make decisions based upon their original skill levels. 3. Strengths and weaknesses of evidence-based recommendations for article Ill There are strengths for two recommendations linked achievement-oriented employees will actually motivate them to pursue more successes and also can avoid annoying those employees who don’t like giving too many options to choose from. Meanwhile, this company strategy is human-oriented, which can show organizations’ concern on employees and increase overall Job performance.
Some weaknesses exist in the recommendations. Actually, it is hard for a company to change its organizational culture to emphasize the change and uncertainty in a short time. In addition, this measure needs more resources and energy to modify the structure in current organization structure. What’s worse, suppose we give more freedom to those achievement-oriented employees, it’s more keel to increase their stresses and lead to more burnouts at work. Therefore, it’s necessary to measure how much autonomy is suitable for each employee. 4.
Strengths and weaknesses of evidence-based recommendations for article IV When it comes to advantages of these recommendations, I think that employees will be more satisfied with the Job and get to know that supervisors notice their improvements and take care of their performance and development after they are given specific and immediate feedback. Also, employees will understand what they should do in their daily work and decrease role ambiguity. As for disadvantages f the recommendations in article ‘V, giving more positive feedbacks is a two-edged sword.
On one hand, it can motivate employees to look forward and work harder. On the other hand, employees have no idea about whether they are performing well or not, because employees are frequently given positive feedbacks. VI. References 1 . Adam M. Grant. (2008). The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 108-124. 2. Edward E. Lawyer Ill. (1969). Job Design and Employee Motivation. Personnel Psychology, 22, 426-435. 3. Claus W. Langford & .NET A. Money. (2004).
Effects of Task Autonomy on Performance: An Extended Model Considering Motivational, Informational, and Structural Mechanisms. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 934-945. 4. Thomas E. Becker & Richard J. Kilos. (1989). A Field Study of the Relationship between the Organizational Feedback Environment and Performance. Personnel Psychology, 42, 343-358. 5. Jeffrey Prefer & Robert l. Sutton (1996). Evidence-based Management. Harvard Business Review, 84, 63-74 6. Adam M. Grant (2012). Giving time, time after time: work design and sustained employee participation in corporate volunteering, 37, 589-615