Chapter 7: Design of work systems
Work system design involves:
1. Job design
2. Determination of working conditions
3. Work measurement
-Work system design directly affects productivity
1. Job design
Job design: Specifying the content (What) and the method (How) of a specific job.
-The objective of job design is to increase long-term productivity
There are two approaches to job design:
-Specialization is a key difference between the two approaches
A. Efficiency approach
Specialization: Focuses jobs to a narrow scope. Ex. Some auto-mechanics specialize in transmissions
while others specialize in brakes.
-The main rational for specialization in an assembly line is to concentrate ones efforts and thereby
become proficient at that type of work. Although there are certain advantages and disadvantages that
come with both:
Company: Simplifies training, high productivity, lower wage costs
Worker: Low education and skill requirements, minimal responsibilities, little mental effort needed
Company: Difficult to motivate quality, worker dissatisfaction, absenteeism, high turnover, and
Worker: Monotonous/boring, limited opportunities for advancement, little control over work, little self-
fulfilment B. Behavioural approach
In an effort to make jobs more interesting and meaningful, job designers frequently consider:
-giving a worker a larger portion of the total task of making the good or providing the service. This
constitutes horizontal loading- the additional work is on the same level of skill and responsibility as the
original job. This lets the worker make a more recognizable contribution to overall output.
-having workers periodically exchange jobs. This allows workers to broaden their learning experience
with the advantage of enabling them to fill in for others. Aswell, repetitive strain injuries can also be
avoided by this.
-Increasing responsibility for planning and co-ordination. This is sometimes referred to as vertical
-groups who perform the same function are empowered to make certain decisions and changes to their
work. This is sometimes referred to an autonomous team. Benefits include higher quality, productivity,
and worker satisfaction.
-Breaks down the job into a sequence of tasks and elements and tries to make it more efficient.
-The basic procedure of method analysis is:
1. Identify the job to be studied and gather all pertinent facts about its operations, machines,
equipment, materials, and so on.
2. Discuss the job with the operator and supervisor
3. Analyze and document the present method of performing the job
4. Question the present method and propose a new method
Analyzing and improving methods is facilitated by the use of various charts, such as:
Process charts: chart used to examine the overall sequence of an operation by focusing on movements
of the operator or flow of material. This is help-full in identifying non-productive steps in the process
such as delays, distances travelled and temporary storages. Machine charts: Used to determine portions of a work cycle during which an operator and equipment
are busy or idle. This can determine how many machines the operator can manage.
-Systematic study of the human motions used to perform an operation or a task. The purpose is to
eliminate unnecessary motions and to identify the best sequence of motions for maximum efficiency.
There are a number of different techniques or tools that motion study analysts can use to develop
efficient procedures. The most used techniques or tools are:
1. Motion economy principles
2. Analysis of elementary motions
3. Micro-motion study
4. Simultaneous hands motion chart
1. Motion economy pri