GMS Chapter 7 Notes
Design of Work Systems
Job design – specifying the content (what) and method (how) of a job. The objective of job design is to increase
long term productivity
Current practice in job design contains elements of two basic schools of thought. One is the efficiency school,
which emphasizes a systematic, logical approach to labour cost reduction; the other is called the behavioural
school and emphasizes satisfaction of wants and needs of workers as a motivator for increased productivity.
The efficiency approach includes specialization, methods analysis and time standards.
Specialization – focusing the job to a narrow scope (advantage: the ability to concentrate one’s efforts and
thereby become proficient at that type of work)
Other advantages of specialization for the company include simplified training, high productivity and lower
wage costs. Some disadvantages for the company include difficult to motivate quality and an increased amount
of worker dissatisfaction which could result in absenteeism and high turnover.
Advantages of specialization for the worker include low education requirements, low skill requirements,
minimum responsibilities and little mental effort needed. Disadvantages for the worker entail
monotonous/boring work, limited opportunities for advancement, little control over work and little opportunity
Methods analysis – breaking down the job into a sequence of tasks and elements that try to make it more efficient
The basic procedure for method analysis is the following:
1. Identify the job to be studied and gather all pertinent facts about its operation, machines, equipment, materials,
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.
Process charts – a chart used to examine the overall sequence of an operation by focusing on movements of the
operator or flow of the material
Worker-machine chart – used to determine portions of a work cycle during which an operator and equipment
are busy or idle
Motion study – systematic study of the human motions used to perform an operation or task (the purpose is to
eliminate unnecessary motions and to identify the best sequence of motions for maximum
Motion economy principles – guidelines for designing motion-efficient work procedure. These guidelines are
divided into three categories: use of arms and body, arrangement of the workplace
and design of tools and equipment (this was introduced by Frank Gilbreth) Micro-motion study – use of motion pictures and slow motion to study motions that otherwise would be too
rapid to analyze (introduced by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth)
Simo Chart - a chart that shows the elementary motions performed by each hand, side by side, over time.
THE BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH
The behavioural approach is an effort to make jobs more interesting and meaningful; job designers frequently
consider job enlargement, job rotation, job enrichment and teams.
Job enlargement – means giving a worker a large portion of the total task of making the good or prov