Designing jobs for employees must be a strategic initiative because optimizing productivity levels without overworking an employee can be difficult to accomplish. Job design refers to organizing tasks, duties, responsibilities, and other components into a productive unit of work. As such, there is a correlation between job design and job performance; job design and job satisfaction; job design and organizational commitment; and job design and physical and mental health. Once the job and tasks are defined, a detailed job description needs to be developed.
A job description will usually indicate the different tasksfor which a potential employee will be responsible. Organizations are known to come up with job descriptions that provide a general standard for interested applicants. Organizations are also notorious for including the following sentence at the end of a job description:Employee may be asked to perform other duties as required. This significant sentence legally allows an employer to modify job descriptions at any time and without notice. The Occupational Information Network (or O*NET) is a useful website for learning about different jobs and the tasks associated with each job (www.onetonline.org). The following job description illustrates the tasks for which an Assistant Professor of Marketing is responsible.
Job Description Example
Assistant Professor of Marketing
It can be concluded from the brief job description above that a potential employee is responsible for researching (creative), performing other duties as required (adaptive), and teaching (routine) at the university. Task-based job performancehas three general categories: creative, adaptive, and routine. The CAR acronym, can be used for recalling the task performance criteria.
Creative task performanceis the degree to which employeesdevelop and implement ideas that are both novel and useful. The reality is that creative task performance is playing a larger role in all jobs. For example, Googleengineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a projectof their choice because creativity is valued and encouraged by the organization. By the same token, the employees of 3M are allowed to use 15 percent of their time to think creatively. Both companies credit these unique programs as the source of their most successful products. In some professions (e.g., marketing or advertising), creative task performance is considered more important than any other task performance. Furthermore, professors are also encouraged to be creative and publish in prestigious academic journals.As a matter of fact, the example above illuminated the importance of a professor being able to publish. The classic saying, publish or perish holds true in academia. Imagine one-third of a professors job (or more) being dependent upon his or her ability to be creative and publish novel concepts. With globalizationand competition, creative task performance will continue to play a major role in all jobs of the future.
Adaptive task performancerequires an employee to be able to adapt and overcome novel or unusual situations. A case in point is when Chesley B. Sullenberger, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 (January 15, 2009), discovered his plane had lost powerand he decided to land in the Hudson River. Captain Sullenbergers heroic actions saved the lives of 150 passengers and crew. A different example (occurred on January 9, 2011) is when U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona and her aide (Daniel Hernandez Jr., who was only five days into his new job) came to her rescue and performed first-aid. Both examples elucidate adaptive task performances that are novel and unusual. All jobs have a component of adaptive task performance that can be extreme or insignificant.
Routine task performanceis associated with being responsible for the same task each day with very minimal variety or change. A classic example of routine task performance would be an employee who works on an automobile assembly line. Each person who works on an automobile assembly line has a very specific job such as screwing on doors or bumpers. This division of labor concept is used in many organizationsto help enhance productivitylevels. For example, contemporary hospitals have been known to request radiologists to specialize and analyze specific digital images (e.g., CT scans, MRI scans, or mammograms) to help productivity, efficiency, accountability, and efficacylevels. In some situations, it makes more sense to divide work amongst a group of employeesas opposed to having a group of employees working on the same tasksand doing double-work.
Drawing on the material in the background readings and doing additional research, please prepare a 3-5 page paper (not including the cover and reference pages) in which you:
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