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Self Managing Work Teams(SMWT) - Critically review the published literature on Job Design and SMWT's and use this review to evaluate Sidney's introduction of the teams in his organization.

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Introduction

Job Re-design at HI - Tech Question: Sidney Lau had made a big change to the way work is done in his company -by establishing Self Managing Work Teams(SMWT). Critically review the published literature on Job Design and SMWT's and use this review to evaluate Sidney's introduction of the teams in his organization. Facts Of The Case: * 10 year old corporation with diversified product lines * Has grown from a small family owned business into the above diversified corporation. * Well defined product lines with distinct manufacturing and assembly lines * Evidence of logical assembly line work flows based on product lines * Evidence of patriarchal management style Relevant Theories that will apply to this Case: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Abraham Maslow proposed that humans have five universal needs that they seek to satisfy, and these needs are proposed in a hierarchy of importance, with the most basic needs- physiological and safety needs at the bottom followed by belongingness needs, Esteem needs and Self-actualisation needs (Langdon & Marshall, 1998, P. 90) He arranged these into a series of different levels or the order of importance of these basic needs. Man's basic needs are physiological, for example, hunger, thirst, sleep, etc. When these are satisfied they are replaced by safety needs reflecting his desire for protection against danger or deprivation. These in turn, when satisfied, are replaced by the need for love or belonging to, which are function of his desire to belong to a group, to give and receive friendship and to associate happily with people. ...read more.

Middle

unit of work. 3. Task significance - the degree to which the worker perceives the significance (value) of the work 4. Autonomy - the degree to which a job provides empowerment such as work scheduling and procedures 5. Feedback - the degree to which a job provides direct, clear and timely information regarding the efficacy of the employee's work Findings Whilst job enrichment is based on a theory resulting from research carried out by Herzberg and his colleagues, the research is not itself without its critics. Later research has not always produced such neat results. Also the focus of the approach is the individual job and only limited consideration is given to the wider context in which the job is carried out, particularly social groupings. However, the approach has limitations, including its inapplicability in certain situations, the lack of opportunities in others and the emphasis upon management decision at the design stage. Nevertheless the principles advocated in the design of jobs have obvious merit. (http://www.accel-team.com/work_design/wd_02.html). Based on the facts one can assume that Sidney applied the motivator factors without laying equal emphasis on the hygiene factors. Even then he did not apply the critically element of feedback to the employees. That's why he was taken aback when the supervisor came with complainants of workers not being happy with their new job enrichment. In order to avoid these complaints, Sidney should have build an element of feedback into the entire job enrichment exercise. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another important factor that affects job design is the employee evolvement is reengineering. A number of companies are embarking on process redesign for employee empowerment and job satisfaction. This development comes as companies are realizing the need to shift from a problem-solving thought process to a forward-thinking perspective. (http://www.emporia.edu/mmfe/jour/jour24hr/pierce.html) Therefore only when: * Employee expectations about their work have changed. * There is incongruity between the needs of the worker and the needs of the organization. * An individual's drive toward maturity is thwarted by organisational rules, procedures, hierarchy, & specialized division of labor. There was no need for Sidney Lau to change the structure of work that was laid out by the upper management as time also influences job design. He should have looked at others factors, (which are stated above) when modifying the structure of Hi-Tech. In the case Sidney Lau was connived that Job redesign was not called for. He should have looked at the option of Job enlargement given its manufacturing process instead of creating SMWTs'. As job enlargement is the horizontal additions of jobs to the same person. It does not involve lot of re- training and it is usually cost neutral. Given that in Hi-Tech manufacturing process similar job were being done for various products. It makes no sense to redesign the production that allows each employee to do the same job for various products. In essence job enlargement. ...read more.

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