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Job redesign: a critical analysis

Kelly, John E (1979) Job redesign: a critical analysis. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis examines four central propositions of theories of job redesign: 1) job redesign has abandoned major tenets of scientific management, ii) job redesign affects job attitudes and behaviour via intrinsic motivation, iii) job attitudes and behaviour are both influenced by job content and co-vary, and iv) job redesign caters for the mutual interests of workers and employers. These propositions are critically examined firstly through a comparison of the three classical job redesign theories - Herzberg's job enrichment, task design theory, and sociotechnical systems theory - with scientific management, following which a new theory of job redesign is proposed. This postulates affinities between job redesign and scientific and management; attributes performance improvements after job redesign to extrinsic mechanisms (pay, control, labour elimination, methods improvements) for all but a minority of employees; postulates attitude - behaviour discrepancies; and claims significant-economic costs for workers because of job redesign such as intensification of labour and loss of jobs. The classical and the new theories are tested against cases in the literature, and against original case material, and the new; theory found to have greater explanatory power (of the origin mechanisms, and consequences of job redesign) despite a number of methodological and conceptual shortcomings. These shortcomings slightly weaken the value of the theory, but it remains worthy of farther testing and refinements. Finally, a number of implications of the new theory are drawn out, for the history of management practices, for the future of job redesign, and for general models of worker behaviour, and further research projects are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Administration, Management
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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