Article

Work design theory: A review and critique with implications for human resource development

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Six theoretical perspectives on work design are examined for their contributions to our understanding of how work is organized and designed in organizations: sociotechnical systems theory, process improvement, adaptive structuration theory, the job characteristics model, technostructural change models, and activity theory. A critique of these theories raises concerns about their ability to explain the design of work in new work environments. The critique highlights the need to eliminate the discontinuity in how theory explains the structure and articulation of work among system levels. The implications of this study for further research on work design theory and for human resource development practice are discussed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... The nature and structure of work in relation to human activities play a critical role in helping to explain today's workplace (Torraco, 2005). Torraco (2005) referenced AST and indicated that the theory had received little to no attention within the HRD literature to date. ...
... The nature and structure of work in relation to human activities play a critical role in helping to explain today's workplace (Torraco, 2005). Torraco (2005) referenced AST and indicated that the theory had received little to no attention within the HRD literature to date. Unfortunately, this theory had not been widely used in the HRD literature beyond Torraco's (2005) article. ...
... Torraco (2005) referenced AST and indicated that the theory had received little to no attention within the HRD literature to date. Unfortunately, this theory had not been widely used in the HRD literature beyond Torraco's (2005) article. Implementing AST to the HRD literature addresses change in organizations as new technologies are being implemented. ...
Article
The Problem Adaptive structuration theory (AST) has had little to no attention within the human resource development (HRD) literature. It is important for HRD scholars and scholar-practitioners to be concerned with how new technology initiatives impact both the individual and the organization, equally. Unfortunately, new technologies are often introduced with no consideration of its utility to the agents expected to use these new technologies, causing incompatibilities and productivity losses. The Solution AST views the duality of structure between an organization’s structural features and its human agents. This perspective enables human agents when implementing new technologies and organizational change initiatives. Also, AST provides HRD scholars and scholar-practitioners with new insight into the interactions that take place during these change initiatives, providing support for current and future research efforts. The Stakeholders It would be beneficial for HRD scholars and scholar-practitioners involved with designing, evaluating, implementing, or managing technology in the workplace.
... We propose integrating organizational spirituality and organizational phronesis theories in management research to address the phronetic workplace by combining perspectives from different fields (Snyder, 2019;Torraco, 2005bTorraco, , 2005a) (knowledge management, organizational practical wisdom, and organizational spirituality). We organized this research as detailed hereafter. ...
... We propose integrating organizational spirituality and organizational phronesis theories in management research to address the phronetic workplace by combining perspectives from different fields (Snyder, 2019;Torraco, 2005bTorraco, , 2005a) (knowledge management, organizational practical wisdom, and organizational spirituality). We organized this research as detailed hereafter. ...
... We conducted an integrative review to support a new perspective (Snyder, 2019;Torraco, 2005b) about phronesis (practical wisdom) in the workplace. The integrative review is a literature review that is made by theoretical selection. ...
Article
Full-text available
Phronesis (practical wisdom) is introduced in the management field as a possible solution to the problems associated with wild capitalism. Although its highly sustainable performance characterizes a phronetic company through innovativeness and shared value creation, there is yet a gap in the literature concerning workplace phronesis’ perspective in management. We propose integrating organizational spirituality and organizational phronesis theories in management research to address the phronetic workplace. This study contributes to shedding light on the understanding of phronesis in management addressing group behavior and how individual phronesis spreads into the workplace towards the phronetic organization.
... With the change of environment also the nature and mode of work in organizations changes, therefore the employees are required to develop new skills, abilities and knowledge which are necessary for the success of organizations (Grossman & Salas, 2011). According to Torraco (2005) the implications of HRD for the adjustment of organizations to new working environments provide arguments for the importance of the development of labor skills of employees through trainings, development of reeducation are very important because the trained labor force the organization will more easily adjust to the new dynamic environments and unpredicted circumstances. ...
... The activities and practices of HRD can play an important role in adapting the employees to the new working methods fostered by the technological changes. According to a large number of authors, the activities of enterprises for successfully coping with these technological changes are realized through programs of reeducation, training and development, career management and multiple skills, through the improvement of the performance of HR ( Torraco, 2005;DeCenzo et al., 2010;Armstrong, 2012). ...
... Vol. 2, No. 2;2019 profits. (Chisholm & Nielsen, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of the Human Resources Development (HRD) on the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kosovo. There is a large volume of research that support the positive relationship between HRD and the organizational performance. Most of such research was conducted in the developed countries and to a lesser extent in the developing countries (countries in transit). Through this study we confirmed the impact of the investments in various forms of HRD in the performance of the SMEs in Kosovo. This study provides empirical data that support the impact of training and development, career development and motivation of employees on organizational performance, but the results of this study do not support the impact of the education of entrepreneurs on the organizational performance.
... By its nature the design of an individual's work shapes the contribution made to the organisation and offers an understanding of the experiences and behaviours of employees (25). This 'work design' is a critical component of human resource management that when understood and optimised improves job satisfaction, the quality, safety and e ciency of the work, (26,27) and has positive impacts on performance, absenteeism and turnover (28,29). In understanding work design and supporting its improvement the validated work design questionnaire (WDQ) (26), has proved a valuable tool producing bene ts in a range of industries including information technology (30), nursing (31), and policing (32). ...
... In doing so the receptionist juggles multiple sources of information from patients, colleagues, and external agencies often with competing demands on attention; for example booking patients into the practice while simultaneously taking phone calls (17,52). High variety can be rewarding (26,27) but can also lead to an overtaxed and underperforming workforce (26,27). ...
... In doing so the receptionist juggles multiple sources of information from patients, colleagues, and external agencies often with competing demands on attention; for example booking patients into the practice while simultaneously taking phone calls (17,52). High variety can be rewarding (26,27) but can also lead to an overtaxed and underperforming workforce (26,27). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Amidst increased pressures on General Practice across England, the receptionist continues to fulfil key administrative and clinically related tasks. The need for more robust support for these key personnel to ensure they stay focussed and motivated is apparent, however, to be effective a more systematic understanding of the parameters of their work is required. Here we present a valuable insight into the tasks they fulfil, their relationship with colleagues and their organisation and their attitudes and behaviour at work collectively defined as their ‘work design’. Methods Our aim was to quantitatively assess the various characteristics of receptionists in primary care in England using the validated Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) a 21 point validated questionnaire, divided into four categories: task, knowledge and social characteristics and work context with a series of sub-categories within each, disseminated online and as a postal questionnaire to 100 practices nationally. Results Seventy participants completed the WDQ, 54 online and 16 using the postal questionnaire with the response rate for the latter being 3.1%. The WDQ suggested receptionists experience high levels of task variety, task significance and of information processing and knowledge demands, confirming the high cognitive load placed on receptionists by performing numerous yet significant tasks. Perhaps in relation to these substantial responsibilities a reliance on colleagues for support and feedback to help negotiate this workload was reported. Conclusion The evidence of our survey suggests that the role of modern GP receptionists requires an array of skills to accommodate various administrative, communicative, problem solving, and decision-making duties. There are ways in which the role might be better supported for example devising ways to separate complex tasks to avoid the errors involved with high cognitive load, providing informal feedback, and perhaps most importantly developing training programmes.
... By its nature the design of an individual's work shapes the contribution made to the organisation and offers an understanding of the experiences and behaviours of employees [25]. This 'work design' is a critical component of human resource management that when understood and optimised improves job satisfaction, the quality, safety and efficiency of the work, [26,27] and has positive impacts on performance, absenteeism and turnover [28,29]. In understanding work design and supporting its improvement the validated work design questionnaire (WDQ) [26], has proved a valuable tool producing benefits in a range of industries including information technology [30], nursing [31], and policing [32]. ...
... In doing so the receptionist juggles multiple sources of information from patients, colleagues, and external agencies often with competing demands on attention; for example booking patients into the practice while simultaneously taking phone calls [17,52]. High variety can be rewarding [26,27] but can also lead to an overtaxed and underperforming workforce [26,27]. ...
... In doing so the receptionist juggles multiple sources of information from patients, colleagues, and external agencies often with competing demands on attention; for example booking patients into the practice while simultaneously taking phone calls [17,52]. High variety can be rewarding [26,27] but can also lead to an overtaxed and underperforming workforce [26,27]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Amidst increased pressures on General Practice across England, the receptionist continues to fulfil key administrative and clinically related tasks. The need for more robust support for these key personnel to ensure they stay focussed and motivated is apparent, however, to be effective a more systematic understanding of the parameters of their work is required. Here we present a valuable insight into the tasks they fulfil, their relationship with colleagues and their organisation and their attitudes and behaviour at work collectively defined as their 'work design'. Methods: Our aim was to quantitatively assess the various characteristics of receptionists in primary care in England using the validated Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) a 21 point validated questionnaire, divided into four categories: task, knowledge and social characteristics and work context with a series of sub-categories within each, disseminated online and as a postal questionnaire to 100 practices nationally. Results: Seventy participants completed the WDQ, 54 online and 16 using the postal questionnaire with the response rate for the latter being 3.1%. The WDQ suggested receptionists experience high levels of task variety, task significance and of information processing and knowledge demands, confirming the high cognitive load placed on receptionists by performing numerous yet significant tasks. Perhaps in relation to these substantial responsibilities a reliance on colleagues for support and feedback to help negotiate this workload was reported. Conclusion: The evidence of our survey suggests that the role of modern GP receptionists requires an array of skills to accommodate various administrative, communicative, problem solving, and decision-making duties. There are ways in which the role might be better supported for example devising ways to separate complex tasks to avoid the errors involved with high cognitive load, providing informal feedback, and perhaps most importantly developing training programmes.
... AST views the interactions between technologies, social structures, and human activities. In the view of Torraco (2005), AST opine that structures (general rules and resources proposed by the technology) can vary from structuration (how people use the rules and resources). There is interplay between the conscious use of technology and the way that people use technology. ...
... AST imply that when technologies are used over time, the rules and resources for social interactions will change (Desanctis and Poole, 1994). Torraco (2005) asserts that telecommuting may change traditional work practices, such as changing from primarily face-to-face communication to electronic communication. ...
... Socio-technical system (STS) theory which was propounded by Trist and Bainforth in (1951), explains the interaction between social and technological factors. STS evaluates the relationships between people, technology, and the traditional office space, to design work in a way that improve job satisfaction and increases productivity (Torraco, 2005). Trist and Bainforth (1951) opine that STS was originally developed to tell the paradox of improved technology but decreased productivity, the theory was also applied to the design of telework. ...
Article
Full-text available
This work examined telecommuting and organizational performance in the phase of the COVID 19 pandemic in the South East region of Nigeria. The dynamic nature of the environment in which organizations operate and the urgency required for responding to customers' needs in the phase of the COVID 19 pandemic made this investigation necessary. The broad objective of this study is to examine telecommuting and organizational performance in the phase of Covid-19 pandemic. To achieve the objective, a survey research design was adopted. The population of the study was 1,195 and the Taro Yamane formula was used to derive the study sample size of 300. Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient was used in the testing of hypotheses. The results revealed that; there is a positive but insignificant correlation between working at home and an increase in the number of customers attended to over some time; there is a significant correlation between working at agreed location and resolution of customers complaints; working on transit has a weak but positive association with speedy service delivery. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that telecommuting has a minimum impact on the organizational performance in the phase of the COVID 19 pandemic. The researchers, therefore, recommended, among others, that organizations need to encourage the work practice that allows employees to work at the agreed location since it has been found to have a significant and positive correlation with the resolution of customers' complaints.
... Work Design is defined as the process on how work should be conceived, assigned across organizational levels, and structured into tasks performed by individuals or teams [27] [10]. The interest to understand and improve work design in several types of organizations can be observed since the beginning of the 20th century, when Taylor [26] proposed a theory focused on simplification and specialization of work as an attempt to maximize workers' efficiency and productivity in organizations' mass production. ...
... From that period, the work scenario in general has changed and different theories and approaches were needed to improve efficiency and productivity in workplace, depending on specific characteristics of each job [27]. In this sense, scientists and practitioners have been concerned about the need for instruments to assess work characteristics in organizations, such as the Job Diagnostic Survey [11], the Multi-method Job Design Questionnaire [2], and later, the integrative study of Morgenson and Humphrey to develop an instrument based on 107 terms of work characteristics found in an extensive literature review [17]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Job rotation is a managerial practice to be applied in the organizational environment to reduce job monotony, boredom, and exhaustion resulting from job simplification, specialization, and repetition. Previous studies have identified and discussed the use of project-to-project rotations in software practice, gathering empirical evidence from qualitative and field studies and pointing out set of work-related factors that can be positively or negatively affected by this practice. Goal: We aim to collect and discuss the use of job rotation in software organizations in order to identify the potential benefits and limitations of this practice supported by the statement of existing theories of work design. Method: Using a survey-based research design, we collected and analyzed quantitative data from software engineers about how software development work is designed and organized, as well as the potential effects of job rotations on this work design. We investigated 21 work design constructs, along with job burnout, role conflict, role ambiguity, and two constructs related to job rotation. Results: We identified one new benefit and six new limitations of job rotation, not observed in previous studies and added new discussions to the existing body of knowledge concerning the use of job rotation in software engineering practice. Conclusion: We believe that these results represent another important step towards the construction of a consistent and comprehensive body of evidence that can guide future research and also inform practice about the potential positive and negative effects of job rotation in software development companies.
... Work Design is defined as the process on how work should be conceived, assigned across organizational levels, and structured into tasks performed by individuals or teams [27] [10]. The interest to understand and improve work design in several types of organizations can be observed since the beginning of the 20th century, when Taylor [26] proposed a theory focused on simplification and specialization of work as an attempt to maximize workers' efficiency and productivity in organizations' mass production. ...
... From that period, the work scenario in general has changed and different theories and approaches were needed to improve efficiency and productivity in workplace, depending on specific characteristics of each job [27]. In this sense, scientists and practitioners have been concerned about the need for instruments to assess work characteristics in organizations, such as the Job Diagnostic Survey [11], the Multi-method Job Design Questionnaire [2], and later, the integrative study of Morgenson and Humphrey to develop an instrument based on 107 terms of work characteristics found in an extensive literature review [17]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Job rotation is a managerial practice to be applied in the organizational environment to reduce job monotony, boredom, and exhaustion resulting from job simplification, specialization, and repetition. Previous studies have identified and discussed the use of project-to-project rotations in software practice, gathering empirical evidence from qualitative and field studies and pointing out set of work-related factors that can be positively or negatively affected by this practice. Goal: We aim to collect and discuss the use of job rotation in software organizations in order to identify the potential benefits and limitations of this practice supported by the statement of existing theories of work design. Method: Using a survey-based research design, we collected and analyzed quantitative data from software engineers about how software development work is designed and organized, as well as the potential effects of job rotations on this work design. We investigated 21 work design constructs, along with job burnout, role conflict, role ambiguity, and two constructs related to job rotation. Results: We identified one new benefit and six new limitations of job rotation, not observed in previous studies and added new discussions to the existing body of knowledge concerning the use of job rotation in software engineering practice. Conclusion: We believe that these results represent another important step towards the construction of a consistent and comprehensive body of evidence that can guide future research and also inform practice about the potential positive and negative effects of job rotation in software development companies.
... The author states that for an increasing number of workers, the work environment is characterized not only by alternative work settings, but also by frequent change in setting and geographical location. Enabled by new information and communication technologies, many workers now migrate between several work settings depending on what setting is most advantageous for conducting the task at hand (Torraco, 2005). According to Torraco R. J. (2005) this represents an innovative work environment in which continuous change is possible; the work setting can change frequently and continuously depend on business-related needs. ...
... According to Torraco R. J. (2005) this represents an innovative work environment in which continuous change is possible; the work setting can change frequently and continuously depend on business-related needs. Innovative work settings represent a fundamental gap between traditional work environments and alternative worksites (Torraco, 2005), which may cause new challenges for human resource management. Therefore, it is way too significant to explore human resource management situations in small and medium businesses of wellness and recreation area. ...
Book
Full-text available
Tourism may be described variously because of its “close” relationships with other social sciences, including economics, politics, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology and even law and statistics. Generator of profound transformations in social dynamics, tourism has also stated as a factor of progress and civilization, as a promoter of international relations and, more recently, the argument of globalization and sustainable development. The team of authors in the collective monograph examines a significant range of theoretical aspects and practical features in these thematic directions: tourism destination development, business models and strategies in tourism, human resources, learning and organization studies in tourism, public policy and environmental management in tourism, information technology and management information systems in tourism and et cetera. As the main practical result of the study, it is worth noting the author’s approach to improving the methodological toolkit for assessing the development and transformation processes in the tourism industry under the conditions of globalization. Collective monograph can be used in decision-making at diferent level of tourist business and infrastructure, and at level of local governments, in formation of competitive advantages and development of tourism. Results of collective monograph can also be used by students and scientists in higher education in tourism management. http://ebooks.kvk.lt/eb/1811/development-and-transformation-processes-in-the-tourism-industry-under-the-conditions-of-globalization/
...  The introduction of organisational restructuring and hierarchical changes (Torraco, 2005);  Increases in job insecurity (Briscoe and Hall 2004;Yousaf et al. 2013);  Changes in corporate landscapes and working environments (Torraco 2005); and  Increasing prevalence of nomadic information environments, most likely influenced by factors such as knowledge intensity, globalisation and virtualisation (Lyttinen and Yoo 2001). Yousaf et al. (2013) postulate that as the corporate landscape becomes increasingly dynamic and changing, employees will become progressively dependent on themselves as a source of commitment as opposed to the employing organisation. ...
...  The introduction of organisational restructuring and hierarchical changes (Torraco, 2005);  Increases in job insecurity (Briscoe and Hall 2004;Yousaf et al. 2013);  Changes in corporate landscapes and working environments (Torraco 2005); and  Increasing prevalence of nomadic information environments, most likely influenced by factors such as knowledge intensity, globalisation and virtualisation (Lyttinen and Yoo 2001). Yousaf et al. (2013) postulate that as the corporate landscape becomes increasingly dynamic and changing, employees will become progressively dependent on themselves as a source of commitment as opposed to the employing organisation. ...
Article
Full-text available
A corporate landscape with novel challenges is emerging, especially when considering contemporary challenges pertaining to the productivity, creation and retention of a highly commitment workforce. Organisations invest significant resources on the recruitment, initiation and training of new employees, expecting employees will remain loyal to the organisation, i.e. display high organisational commitment, and provide the organisation with a high return-on-investment (ROI). It has however been shown that certain groups of employees, specifically workers involved in the creation and dissemination of knowledge ("knowledge workers"), who perform their tasks in a mobile fashion and rely much on mobile technology, tend to have lower levels of organisational commitment and higher levels of occupational commitment. Such tendency can lead to mobile knowledge workers exiting the employ of an organisation in an unpredictable manner with subsequent loss of investment and knowledge capital for the company. Research into the commitment of mobile workers are sparse, subsequently the purpose of this paper is to provide a deeper understanding of the nature of commitment of mobile knowledge workers and to identify possible gaps in the literature. Following a comprehensive literature survey we establish a number of propositions for addressing organisational commitment among mobile knowledge workers, culminating in a preliminary framework to facilitate these challenges for organisations.
... Work Design is a broad term used to determine how the work can be defined, allocated across organizational levels, and structured into tasks to be performed by individuals or teams [1]. Such design can affect several aspects of a company and has a direct influence on how professionals experience their jobs, while affecting efficiency, productivity, motivation, satisfaction, among other factors [2]. ...
... Since the early 20th century, several theories concerning work design have been proposed to improve aspects of work [3] [4] [5]. However, in the last decades such theories are constantly reviewed to determine to what extent conclusions established in the past are still useful to demonstrate the reality in modern companies [1]. This includes recent research conducted on software management and human aspects of software engineering, which highlighted the importance of studying work characteristics and their particularities in the software industry [7] [8] [9]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The way that the work is structured affects several aspects of a company, resulting in practical implications in individual, social and organizational levels. Over the years, several studies focusing on work design have been published discussing work characteristics and how they affect individuals and their activities. Job Specialization, for instance, is a work characteristic that has been explored in many research fields, and it has been commonly associated with negative aspects of workers' productivity in the past. However, recent studies demonstrated that as the organizational environments changed and evolved, work-related factors ought to be revised through the perspective of professionals and the reality of nowadays companies. The goal of this research is to understand the role and the particularities of job specialization in the software industry. In particular, aspects related to this factor and how it is perceived by software engineers are under investigation. We collected data from a group of 33 software engineers by applying a qualitative approach based on interviews and data analysis based on three phases, namely, open coding, axial coding and selective coding. Our findings demonstrated that, in software companies, job specialization presents unique characteristics that need to be taken into consideration in managerial decisions. In the software industry, specialization is closely related to the specific domain of the software and to the technologies applied in the development process. Also, different from what is observed in other fields, our findings suggest that in software companies specialized work can vary in terms of tasks and skills.
... This is reflected in the enhanced organizational commitment exhibited by the employees. Meanwhile, adaptive structuration theory (AST) (Torraco, 2005) enlightens us of the variations in organizational change due to the adaptation to new technologies. In the current COVID-19 context, many organizations have adopted digitalization strategies for the purpose of business continuity. ...
Article
The year 2020 began with a glimpse into the darkness with the onset of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. An invisible, threatening virus has forced many countries to practice restricted movement and impose lockdowns for the sake of their citizens’ safety and well-being. In response, many business organizations have implemented various remote-work arrangements. These arrangements have spurred the use of digitalization strategies and have landed many employees in the vulnerable virtual workplace. With employees facing all these uncertainties and vulnerabilities, their commitment to their workplace could come into question. At the same time, organizations facing tremendous challenges are searching for committed employees to navigate through this turbulent time. From a strategic management perspective, organizations could revisit their internal core competencies to prevail through internal corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Meanwhile, the rapidly growing pace of digitalization could further augment organizations’ survival and resilience. This research paper showcases the empirical outcomes of the promising match between internal CSR practices and digitalization strategy; and employees’ organizational commitment during times of crisis. The results reveal that internal CSR practices positively stimulate employees’ organizational commitment, while digitalization strategy intercedes in the nexus between internal CSR practices and affective commitment. The empirical outcomes shed light on business organizations and their ability to take a frugal approach in turbulent times.
... The criteria beneath were used to choose the articles to the integrative review (an adaptation of Torraco, 2005a): ...
Conference Paper
Practical wisdom (phronesis) can be a quality that supports companies to effectively survive and do good to society. It is an Aristotelian intellectual virtue regarding the right pondering used to actions concerning human affairs. Practical wisdom is based on technical and general knowledge, moral virtues, and the embodiment of everyday pondering to achieve good. Organizations should be a context where members are continually outstripping themselves, achieving results genuinely sought, maturing, and enlarging the mentality. The consequence of organizational learning depends on the organizational culture, that is, its system of values and beliefs shared by members. Organizational spirituality has a foundation in the moral virtues and the capacity of the organization to perceive and act beyond the material world. It ponders the next generations and pursues the mutual good from the organizations' outputs. It is positioned as the cause of the truth, sense of integrity, emotional, moral, and understanding of the members. Hence, the relationship between organizational spirituality, knowledge management, and organizational practical wisdom was addressed. A systematic literature review was done to analyze the state of the art, and an integrative literature review was undertaken to propose a theoretical framework. The analysis was successful in producing a theoretical framework with proposals. This articles' main contributions are the proposition of a theoretical framework and suggestions for future research in order to enlighten the path.
... Process success could be defined simply as the achievement of a structured, measured set of activities across time and place with a beginning and an end. It begins with identifying inputs and accomplishing a specific goal of outputs (Torraco, 2005). PPP process success can be conceptualised in two ways. ...
... Diante deste cenário complexo e em contínua transformação, fica patente a surge a necessidade de estudos que permitam compreender os processos e dinâmicas organizacionais, os comportamentos no contexto de trabalho e a forma de gestão das pessoas. Neste contexto, o estudo do desenho do trabalho torna--se relevante por se tratar de um fenômeno que descreve o modo como as atividades de trabalho são estruturadas e configuradas em uma organização, o que se traduz em resultados no nível individual, grupal e organizacional de acordo com o trabalho e suas características (Parker & Ohly, 2008;Robbins, Judge, & Sobral, 2010;Torraco, 2005), além de se configurar como uma medida de carater mais amplo que permite a realização de diagnósticos organizacionais. A falta de instrumentos formais e objetivos, além de refletir nos diagnósticos, também se reflete na dificuldade de definição das estruturas e na elaboração dos planos de trabalho, comprometendo o desempenho e, consequentemente, nos resultados organizacionais. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to adapt and gather evidence of validity for the Portuguese version of the Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) in Angola. Initially composed of 77 items, the instrument was administered to 505 workers from different organizations. The data were submitted to exploratory factor analysis. The results revealed a structure of 15 factors (62 items) distributed among the four latent dimensions of work design, with adequate levels of convergent and discriminant validity. Cronbach's alpha varies between 0.69 and 0.85. Possible interpretations of these relationships are discussed. As an additional support for the validity of the construct, differences between three occupational categories (administrative, managerial, and operational) were evaluated, with significant differences detected in 9 factors. It is concluded that the study provides evidence for the construct and divergent validity of a Portuguese version of the scale and presents an additional support for the generalization of the 15-factor structure to Angola.
... When examining these 38 articles, I explored the context that the term human agency was applied and the references that the authors used when addressing human agency. The largest number of articles (21) addressed the tension (e.g., Korte, 2012) or reciprocal relationship (e.g., Torraco, 2005;Veliquette, 2012) between the existing structure and human agency from a sociology perspective. Veliquette (2012) points out that this viewpoint is aligned with Giddens (1984), which delineated the theory of structuration by addressing how agent, human agency, and structure interplay. ...
Article
The Problem Albert Bandura has refined a theory of human agency with three modes and four core properties within social cognitive theory. Human agency plays a critical role in one’s adaptation, self-development, and self-renewal. Despite its relevance to human resource development (HRD), human agency theory has not been explored or effectively utilized in HRD research and practice. The Solution Following Bandura’s human agency theory, a translational and implementational model for HRD was proposed. First, the model integrated the four core properties of human agency (intentionality, forethought, self-reactiveness, and self-reflectiveness) into a model by altering the sequence to align with major HRD processes. Second, it synthesized triadic reciprocal determinism with the four core properties of human agency by placing the agent at the center of the model. Third, it is an open systems model that describes reciprocal determinism between the agent and the environment at micro, meso, and macro levels, indicating the dynamics of personal, proxy, and collective agency. The Stakeholders The model will be useful for career practitioners, coaches, organization development consultants, and other HRD professionals who deliver interventions. HRD researchers and theorists may find it worthwhile to test and validate the model. In addition, regardless of disciplines, researchers, and practitioners who follow social cognitive theory may find some insights from the translational model.
... Research has shown that mobile knowledge workers tend to show more commitment towards their occupation than the organization (e.g. [11] and [12]) due to factors such as organisational restructuring, increases in job insecurity, and a prevalence of nomadic environments ( [13], [14], [15], [16]). ...
Article
Full-text available
The current corporate landscape induces numerous novel challenges regarding sustained productivity, creating a committed workforce , and addressing the increasing level of daily user dependence on technology. As employee dependence on technology increases, it becomes vital to not only understand the concept of employee commitment but also the impact and influence that technology has on such commitment. Mobile knowledge workers are highly dependent on technology to complete their tasks. The mobile landscape poses various challenges to a mobile knowledge worker, amongst others, connectivity issues; alienation and isolation from their colleagues; reduced opportunities for relationship building; and a degraded corporate identity. Whilst implementing technology with the aim of addressing the various challenges brought about by the mobile-work landscape is a noble goal, it is important that the technology earmarked for introduction to the workers are appropriate for the end-users of the technology and the tasks the workers need to complete. In this paper we investigate how the task-technology fit model relates to organisational commitment and to what extent it may address the challenges of mobile knowledge workers in South Africa.
... It explains the interaction between social and technological factors. STS assesses the connections between individuals, innovation, and the conventional office space, to plan work in a way that progresses work fulfillment and increments efficiency (Torraco, 2005). Trist and Bainforth (1951) opine that STS was initially created to tell the conundrum of moved forward innovation but diminished efficiency. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the influences of environment and technology on the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance in service industries in Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to; examine whether environment as a moderating factor significantly affects the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance and; determine the extent to which technology as a moderating variable influences the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance. To achieve the objectives, a survey research design was adopted. The populace of the research was one thousand one hundred and ninety-five (1195) and the Taro Yamane equation was utilized to infer the test estimate, which is three hundred (300). The techniques employed in analyzing the data were descriptive statistics, ordinal logistic regression analysis. The results indicated that the environment as a moderating factor significantly affects the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance. It was also revealed that technology as a moderating variable has significant influences on the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance. Based on the findings, the study concluded that environment and technology to a reasonable extent influence the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance. It was recommended among others that organizations need to ensure that the environment of their telecommuters is conducive and has good network and internet connectivity if it must affect the relationship between telecommuting and workplace performance.
... Job satisfaction is integration between the internal conscious of the employee and the external surrounding environment and they affect each other vice-versa. Job satisfaction is not absolute, it differs in levels and is always found whether internally or externally (Torraco, 2005). The level of satisfaction can't be controlled neither by the company nor the individual solely, it is an integrated process that has multiple factors, and each factor affects all other factors as well as the final output which is the job satisfaction. ...
Article
Full-text available
Employee engagement recently has become a hot topic among the consulting firms and in the business press. The purpose of this study was to study and create further understanding of employee’s engagement levels and how to stimulate it to the maximum as long as possible. A survey was completed by 55 employees working in private and governmental organization in Palestine from governmental service, manufacturing, technology, telecommunication, financing and other services like retailer, NGO cultural to generate the output of having a higher employees involvement in the governmental sector rather than the private one due to multiple factors, and having a higher employee engagement in the private sector than the public one due to the more financial and personal recognition they get there. The revealed results stressed that organizations need to recognize employees as assets and customers. Business activities are key parts of the employee lifestyle, so it has a direct impact at his reaction, so if the organization didn’t control these reactions it will be the main drivers for his disengagement. Additionally, the employee engagement level is directly related to the efficiency of work and the overall company performance. The authors recommend adopting employee engagement transforming strategies by the public sector before the private one. Moreover, the study recommends that engagement transforming strategies must be employee-oriented not entity-oriented.
... Socio-technical system theory explains the interaction and interdependencebetween technologicaland social factors. It investigates the correlation between people, technology, and the general work environment, in order to create work in a way that enhances job satisfaction and increases productivity (Torraco, 2005). Researchers such as Trist and Bainforth (1951) are of the opinion thatSocio-technical system theory was promoted initially to explain the paradox of improved technology but decreased productivity, the theory was also applied to the design of remote work. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the extent to which telecommuting affects the effectiveness of institutions of higher learning. Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness were adopted as the dimensions of telecommuting which affects organizational effectiveness, the study adopted a cross sectional survey and 50 respondents each were selected from five institutions of higher learning (University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state university, Ignatus Ajuru University, Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic and Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic). Structural equation modeling was used to determine the effect of the predictor variable on the criterion variable as well as the model fitness for the study. The findings reveal that perceived usefulness had more effect on effectiveness than perceived ease of use. The study further recommends governments conscious action towards the promotion of ICT use within institutions of higher learning and recruitments should also capture the use of telecommuting devices so that more ICT savvy candidates are employed.
... In the organizations where the employees have opportunities to get advice from their immediate supervisors where they have earned increased depths and levels of communications as compared with those who do not have such opportunities (Chen & Tjosvold, 2006;Torraco, 2005). Another such study was carried out at University of Ottawa, Canada by Carrière & Bourque, 2008) investigated the effects of organizational communication on job satisfaction and organizational commitment considering the communication satisfaction as a mediator. ...
Article
Full-text available
Distance education particularly the IT based distance learning is a fast growing concept in the academic world. The employees working in such distance learning institutions have certain issues that need to be investigated. One important such issue the job satisfaction of employees. Job satisfaction of employees can be investigated through several variables. Job satisfaction is equally important in all the organizations including the face to face and distance learning organizations. Distance learning organizations differ from face to face as the supervisor and the employees happen to be seated hundreds of miles away from each other. They do not even have a facial know how or interaction with each other. This distance create certain differences in the culture and the facial anonymity also has an impact on the supervisor support and other issues as well. This study intended to analyze the impact of organizational culture, organizational communication and supervisor support on the job satisfaction of the employees working in the IT based distance learning institutions of Pakistan. These variables are so selected because the employees working in such organizations happen to be seated away from supervisor and one another as well. A survey was conducted for this purpose in which data was collected through online questionnaire and data processed through regression analysis. Findings of the study revealed that all the three variables including organizational culture, organizational communication and supervisor support has a positive impact on the job satisfaction of employees working in the IT based distance learning organizations.
... In the organizations where the employees have opportunities to get advice from their immediate supervisors where they have earned increased depths and levels of communications as compared with those who do not have such opportunities (Chen & Tjosvold, 2006;Torraco, 2005). Another such study was carried out at University of Ottawa, Canada by Carrière & Bourque, 2008) investigated the effects of organizational communication on job satisfaction and organizational commitment considering the communication satisfaction as a mediator. ...
Article
Full-text available
This Open Praxis issue in volume 11 includes eight research papers
... By adopting a multi-level research design, possible group-level influences of procedural justice climate have been tested and controlled for. This substantiates the reported individual-level relationships found in this study and contributes to the often-reported quest for multi-level research designs in organizational research [84,85]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Civil society groups and their members are important agents within the multi-stakeholder change process towards more ecological, social, global, and economic sustainability. To better understand civil society group members’ drivers within this complex societal change process, the present study examines the impact of perceived participation, leader–member exchange (LMX), procedural justice, and procedural justice climate on change-supporting behavior. Referring to social exchange theory, data from 125 members of 34 civil society groups that engage in the Agenda 21 process in Germany were gathered by paper/pencil and online questionnaires. Multi-level analyses were conducted to examine interactions between group-level and individual-level phenomena. We found that participation and LMX positively affected group members’ procedural justice perceptions and that procedural justice positively affected group members’ change-supporting behavior. Procedural justice further mediated the relationship between participation, LMX, and change-supporting behavior. The study’s results suggest that fair social exchange processes with civil society group members should be more encouraged by other societal stakeholders (i.e., government, civil society group leaders) wishing to maximize civil society group members’ change-supporting behavior. This study demonstrates ways to promote change initiatives in civil society. Fair social exchange processes help to overcome participation hurdles in the complex field of sustainable local development.
... Dengan kalimat lain, masyarakat yang mampu beradaptasi dengan perubahan teknologinya dapat dijelaskan dalam teori sistem sosioteknikal (Torraco, 2005). Teori sistem sosioteknikal adalah teori yang berusaha menjelaskan bagaimana cara untuk meningkatkan kepuasan kerja dan meningkatkan produktivitas dengan bergantung kepada orang lain, teknologi dan juga lingkungan kerja. ...
Article
Telecommuting/teleworking adalah salah satu pilihan metode baru yang melibatkan teknologi untuk menyelesaikan suatu pekerjaan dari jarak jauh. Kategori telecommuting/teleworking – work from home sendiri terdiri atas tiga jenis yaitu home-based working, mobile working dan satellite office. Apabila dilihat dari jenis pekerjaannya, dapat disimpulkan bahwa secara umum telecommuting/teleworking lebih cocok untuk digunakan pada jenis pekerjaan yang memang membutuhkan tingkat mobilitas tinggi dan tidak diharuskan menetap di kantor. Tetapi, dengan adanya perkembangan teknologi saat ini sistem kerja telecommuting/teleworking dapat diaplikasikan bagi pekerjaan mobile maupun back office. Teknologi yang digunakan pun harus lengkap seperti IT infrastruktur, laptop, VPN dan jaringan internet nya. perusahaan akan membuat skema struktur organisasi bagian mana saja yang memang perlu untuk bekerja secara telecommuting/teleworking dan pada situasi-situasi tertentu misalnya dalam keadaan bencana alam atau adanya gejala sosial yang tidak memungkinkan pekerjanya untuk datang ke kantor dan harus tetap efektif bekerja seperti biasa. Penerapan telecommuting/teleworking pun tetap membutuhkan pengawasan dari sisi manajerial agar tidak ada pekerja yang melakukan kecurangan saat hal ini diterapkan Dengan begitu, tujuan dari penerapan telecommuting/teleworking – work from home pun dapat tercapai.
... Consistently, we advocated a number of accommodations designed to make a significant difference to the quality of working life of neurodivergent employees and to enable them to reach full potential. Accommodations such as sensory sensitive office space design, transparent work structure or clear communication channels are often cheap and simple to implement but can bring real value for all employees (see CIPD, 2018) through ensuring high levels of job involvement and fulfilment (Torraco, 2005). ...
Article
Purpose Existing management research and management practices frequently overlook the relationship between the above-average human capital of highly functioning neurodivergent employees, their subjective well-being in the workplace and performance outcomes. This paper calls for greater attention to the hidden human capital associated with neurodiversity by mainstreaming implementation of neurodiversity-friendly policies and practices. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on the ability, motivation and opportunity (AMO) framework, this conceptual paper integrates research on employee neurodiversity and well-being to provide a model of HR-systems level and human capital development policies, systems and practices for neurodivergent minorities in the workplace. Findings This paper illustrates that workplace neurodiversity, like biodiversity, is a natural phenomenon. For subjective individual psychological and organisational well-being, neurodivergent employees require an empathetic culture and innovative talent management approaches that respect cognitive differences. Practical implications The case is made for neurodivergent human capital development and policy-makers to promote inclusive employment and decent work in a context of relatively high unemployment for neurodivergent individuals. Originality/value This paper extends current debates on organisational equality, diversity and inclusion to a consideration of workplace well-being for highly functioning neurodivergent workers. It calls for more equitable and empathetic approaches to investing in employees with neurodevelopmental and cognitive disabilities.
... JCM was developed based on STS theory by Hackman and Oldham (1975). It was consider as the most well-known and complete theories in explaining the characteristic of work design and its subsequent relationship with motivation (Torraco, 2005). The following figure 3.3 shows the JCM theory of work design. ...
Thesis
The purpose of this study is to investigate digital library engagement concerning its impacts and determinants. The study was carried out using a quantitative approach in five universities. A theoretical model was developed and several hypotheses were formulated. Three groups of determinants (technological, individual, and contextual) were hypothesized to positively relate with digital library engagement measured in term of focus attention, felt-involvement, aesthetic, and novelty. Three technological factors were investigated being service quality, information quality, and system quality. Three individual factors were investigated being digital library efficacy, domain knowledge, and attitude towards the digital library. Two contextual factors were examined being task resources and task complexity. Besides, the variables of digital library engagement were hypothesized to be significantly related to perceived benefits measured in terms of emotional and functional benefits. The data was analysed based on descriptive and inferential analysis using Structural Equation Modelling Partial Least Square (PLS-SEM). Based on the analysis of 492 responses collected using purposive sampling, it was proven that all hypothesize determinants were undeniably significantly related to digital library engagement. Moreover, the four variables underlying digital library engagement were also found to be positively related to perceived benefits. The results of the study are significance to several stakeholders; higher learning institutions, government policymakers, practitioners, DL vendors, as well as academician specializing on DL. The major contributions of the study can be assessed from three perspectives, theoretical, empirical, and practical. From a theoretical viewpoint, this study has developed a theoretical framework of digital library engagement concerning its impacts and determinants in the context of Malaysian postgraduate students. From the empirical viewpoint, this study provides empirical evidence of digital library engagement concerning its impacts and determinants, as well as empirical evidence of the contextual factors towards digital library engagement. From a practical viewpoint, this study develops an instrument that can be used to evaluate user engagement with the digital library as well as their impacts and determinants. However, despite its success in achieving objectives, this study is limited in certain ways, being the number of variables selected, respondents, and perceptual measure. Future research should consider other determinants such as organizational and socio-economic factors, as well as extend the coverage beyond postgraduate students to include librarian and undergraduate students. An alternative to perceptual measure, using objective measurements such as Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), number of page visits, and other statistical measures would provide interesting results.
... The purpose of using an integrative review method is to overview the knowledge base, to critically review and potentially reconceptualize, and to expand on the theoretical foundation of specific topics (Webster and Watson, 2002). Torraco (2005) recommends the integrative approach where the purpose is to assess, critique and synthesize from available seminal literature, thus enabling new theoretical frameworks and emerging perspectives. ...
Article
Purpose The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) holds the potential to improve capabilities- and technology-based innovation, which will enable breakout for architectural, engineering, construction and operation and maintenance (AECO) companies, for international competitiveness. Though the top management of such companies is convinced on the utility of the applications, they are unsure on the strategy of implementing the same. The objective of this research is to suggest a strategy framework for digital transformation of the AECO value chain. Design/methodology/approach The nascent level of research on 4IR in construction necessitated the adoption of the integrative review methodology for the study. Extensive literature review of research on strategy and 4IR has been utilized to establish the validity of the first two pillars, namely “a strategy of simple rules in a complex environment; and deployment of dynamic capabilities.” The validation of a construct for the third pillar of “confluence of change and continuity forces” has been achieved via hypothesis testing of data obtained through a questionnaire survey. Findings The present study has integrated three diverse ideas of strategy, named as the pillars, to facilitate sustainable digital transformation. Within the third pillar, top three continuity forces which offer resistance to change are organization culture, existing delivery processes and networks, and existing standard operating procedures. On the other hand, the leading drivers of change are needs of competitiveness; global industry trends and the advent of new technologies/innovations. Research limitations/implications This provides a practical approach to operationalize digital transformation of the AECO at an organization level. The validation relied on opinion and perspectives of a sample frame in the Indian context, which was its limitation. Originality/value This paper suggests a strategy framework of three pillars to help address specific strategy dilemmas during implementation of digital transformation of particular organizations in AECO. The study contributes to both theory and practice by helping leaders of AECO companies, associations, policymakers and the academia to strategize transformations successfully.
... Work design refers to "the content and organization of one's work tasks, activities, relationships, and responsibilities" (Parker, 2014, p. 47). This body of research has provided extensive evidence for the influence of work design characteristics such as job autonomy and task variety on employee's motivation and well-being, as well as on key HR indicators such as turnover and productivity (Chang, Wang, & Huang, 2013;Humphrey et al., 2007;Parker, 2014;Parker & Turner, 2002;Torraco, ...
Article
We review the literature on algorithmic management (AM) to bridge the gap between this emerging research area and the well-established theory and research on work design. First, we identify six management functions that algorithms are currently able to perform: monitoring, goal setting, performance management, scheduling, compensation, and job termination. Second, we show how each AM function affects key job resources (e.g., job autonomy, job complexity) and key job demands (e.g., workload, physical demands); with each of these resources and demands being important drivers of worker motivation and their well-being. Third, rejecting a deterministic perspective and drawing on sociotechnical systems theory, we outline key categories of variables that moderate the link between AM on work design, namely transparency, fairness and human influence (e.g., whether workers can control the system). We summarize our review in the form of a model to help guide research on AM, and to support practitioners and designers in the creation and maintenance of meaningful jobs in the era of algorithms.
... This study used Torraco's (2005) approach for conducting an integrative literature review to data collection, analysis and findings. An integrative approach to primary and secondary data collection and analysis supports investigation of a specific topic in a cohesive way resulting in new insights and frameworks. ...
Article
Full-text available
The under-representation of women employed in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) industries is a long-term problem for human resource management. We report the results of a qualitative research study designed to investigate the factors that positively influence women's retention and occupational commitment within the MENA region. The data are based on 40 semi-structured interviews of women employed in SET occupations. The results reveal that self-directed attitudes (coping self-efficacy, protean attitude and professional identity) and contextual support (mentoring and the quality of the mentoring relationship) positively influence women's occupational commitment in jobs in SET. Our contributions to academic research on HRM and HRD include the important role that the psychological functions of mentoring play in OCC. In terms of the contribution to practice, we propose that professional HRM institutes and associations could contribute by launching campaigns to promote greater organisational awareness of the potential of mentoring for retaining women in SET.
... An organization that offers support "may be seen as offering a form of inducement to the employee and so may create a sense of obligation in the employee to the organization" (Allen et al., 2003, p. 103). HRD professionals can support employees with ASD by redesigning work environments to accommodate their needs and ensure high levels of job involvement, fulfillment, and efficient performance (Torraco, 2005). ...
Article
The increased prevalence of young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) translates into a dire need to find ways to facilitate successful employment opportunities. Employment options are limited because of impaired communication and social skills that are vital for the workplace. There are a growing number of studies published on the need for employment, and primarily social psychologists, medical, and rehabilitation professionals have conducted this research; this necessitates multidisciplinary research that involves workforce development experts. Our study identified ways that human resource development (HRD) professionals can foster skill development and promote a work environment that supports the success of employees with ASD. Through a narrative literature review, key themes were identified as critical employment strategies that fall within the scope of HRD. As agents of change, HRD professionals can play a role in the multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach needed to facilitate improved work outcomes of employees with ASD.
Article
The Problem This issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources addresses the establishment of a research agenda for theories and constructs selected from established theories from other fields of study, which are related to elements of the study of human resource development (HRD). Several of the theories or constructs were selected for inclusion in this issue based on prior publications in Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD)–sponsored journals in which authors suggested the use of the theory to advance the theory, research, and practice in HRD. Other theories and constructs were inspired to be included by calls for interdisciplinary and multi-paradigmatic empirical research from journals within the economics, management, organizational psychology, and sociology fields of study. The Solution Integrated, systematic, or theoretical literature reviews were conducted for each of the selected theories or constructs. Models, research propositions, and research agendas were developed to provide recommendations for the development of research designs and protocols. The goal of the implementation of the research agendas is to advance the theoretical foundations of HRD. The Stakeholders This issue is expected to benefit HRD researchers and HRD practitioners by providing suggestions for empirical research studies to be conducted to explore HRD-related concepts using the theories selected and to establish interdisciplinary and multi-paradigmatic research opportunities.
Chapter
The way that the work is structured affects several aspects of a company, resulting in practical implications in individual, social and organizational levels. Over the years, several studies focusing on work design have been published discussing work characteristics and how they affect individuals and their activities. Job Specialization, for instance, is a work characteristic that has been explored in many research fields, and it has been commonly associated with negative aspects of workers’ productivity in the past. However, recent studies demonstrated that as the organizational environments changed and evolved, work-related factors ought to be revised through the perspective of professionals and the reality of nowadays companies. The goal of this research is to understand the role and the particularities of job specialization in the software industry. In particular, aspects related to this factor and how it is perceived by software engineers are under investigation. We collected data from a group of 33 software engineers by applying a qualitative approach based on interviews and data analysis based on three phases, namely, open coding, axial coding and selective coding. Our findings demonstrated that, in software companies, job specialization presents unique characteristics that need to be taken into consideration in managerial decisions. In the software industry, specialization is closely related to the specific domain of the software and to the technologies applied in the development process. Also, different from what is observed in other fields, our findings suggest that in software companies specialized work can vary in terms of tasks and skills.KeywordsJob specializationWork designSoftware industry
Article
In management education, research combining job design and institutional commitment theory with management students’ co-creation of their learning is underdeveloped. Some findings suggest identifiable differences between different courses of study based on relationship quality and student loyalty approach. However, much of the current research has not explored degree-focused applications of concepts, so job design theory’s core elements could better suit the university business student population. This manuscript makes a significant new contribution through testing a conceptual job design model using structural equation modelling (SEM), which includes antecedents of institutional commitment, an important indicator for retention. The study found autonomy and task significance have an important relationship with commitment for general university students. These relationships did not exist as such for business students. Therefore, special consideration of business students is required to enhance retention. Implications are enhanced by leveraging data (i.e. National Survey of Student Engagement) currently gathered by most universities.
Article
Full-text available
In this study, I explored the mediating role of person-job fit in the relationship between job autonomy and job engagement and proposed perceived supervisor support as an important moderator of the above mediated relationship. The survey data were collected from 385 full-time employees of two private firms operating in the service sector using the survey technique. SPSS 22, AMOS 22 and Process Macro (for SPSS) statistical programs were used to analyze the data. The results of the analysis indicated that the person-job fit has a mediating effect on the relationship between job autonomy and job engagement, and perceived supervisor support has a moderating effect in this relationship. In other words, the indirect effect of job autonomy on job engagement (through person-job fit) is strong when perceived supervisor support is high and weak when perceived supervisor support is low. The theoretical and practical effects of the results are discussed and suggestions are made for future studies and managers.
Article
Organizations continuously seek to create an environment where employees go beyond their job brief and engage in others’ welfare enhancing behaviors that eventually contribute to higher standards. The study aims to examine the relationship between organizational climate (OC) and prosocial organizational behavior (PSOB). Using social exchange theoretical premise, three dimensions of OC such as warmth, standards and identity were used to examine their relationship with PSOB. The data was drawn from 387 nurses working in two non-profit hospitals in a southern state in India. Results indicate that all three dimensions of OC (warmth, standards and identity) significantly predict PSOB in non-profit hospitals. It imparts important insights to researchers and managers of non-profit hospitals about OC dimensions that have to be given much attention to institutionalize PSOB.
Chapter
People who have meaning-mission fit experience benefits including overall happiness, life satisfaction, and job satisfaction. Leaders with meaning-mission fit also feel a responsibility to help their employees experience emotional well-being in their work. This chapter explores the concepts and happiness, job satisfaction, and responsibility in detail. An exhaustive description reveals the structure of the experience of having meaning-mission fit.
Article
Purpose Human resource development (HRD) research and practice mostly have focused on performance improvement although HRD fundamentally pursues human development as a whole. The purpose of this study is to conceptualize meaningful work in the context of HRD and provide implications for HRD research and practice. Design/methodology/approach This study reviewed the literature on topics such as meaningful work, the meaning of work, workplace spirituality, the value of work and work as a calling, to understand the concept of meaningful work. In addition, this study reviewed existing studies on meaningful work in HRD journals to investigate the current status of meaningful work research within the field of HRD. This study reviewed the related literature such as meaningful work, the meaning of work, workplace spirituality, the value of work and work as a calling, to understand the concept of meaningful work. In addition, this study reviewed the existing studies on meaningful work in HRD journals to investigate the current status of meaningful work research in HRD. Findings The findings of this study identified three main themes in conceptualizing meaningful work, namely, positivity; significance and purpose; and human fulfillment. The authors also suggest that the meaningful work discourse in HRD expands a research boundary of HRD and enables a holistic approach to HRD research and practice. Research limitations/implications For future research, the authors recommend that HRD research deepens its understanding of meaningful work and its related concepts. They also recommend studies pursuing empirical evidence to reveal the significance of meaningful work. Originality/value Given the limited studies on meaningful work in HRD and a lack of understanding of meaningful work, this study proposes a comprehensive understanding of meaningful work, especially within the HRD context. This study also suggests a holistic approach to HRD by stressing a humanistic perspective beyond the performance-oriented HRD.
Article
The United States military is one of the most notable developers of civilian workforce talent. Yet, approximately one third of post 9/11 veterans retain a personal narrative of military identity that they often find conflicts with civilian society—and as a result, with a civilian career. Earlier studies on veteran career transition have emphasized the need to better understand and deconstruct this transition process for human resource development (HRD). Schlossberg's adult transition theory was used to highlight the argument that HRDs role is to reduce transitional barriers and promote transition strategies. Four heuristics are offered as a basis for organizing the HRD practitioners’ role in veteran‐civilian career identity conflict: (a) you belong here, (b) you are valued here, (c) you are safe here, and (d) you can thrive here. We close with a discussion for practitioners and future research.
Chapter
This is the first in a series of articles providing a meta-analysis of journal articles using sociotechnical approaches as a dominant theme. In this article we look at the article repository Business Source Complete and two specific search terms: sociotechnology and sociotechnical, to extract relevant papers from 1968 onwards. We identify trends in publishing relevant articles which appear to show a revival of interest from the 1990s to date. It appears that this revival has been prompted by the expansion of large work systems and their frequent partial or complete failures which limit their usability in organisations. Using Content Analysis we have analysed 42 papers that discuss sociotechnical theory and its development and have found that the fields of application of the theory have shifted from human resources; to work design and operations management; to most recently, knowledge management and philosophy.
Chapter
In the information age, technology is rapidly becoming an integral part of organizational life. Ever increasing technology applications have significantly reshaped the day-to-day practices of human resource development (HRD). This chapter explores the role of technology in HRD. Specifically, it addresses three issues. First, it identifies the challenges that technology has brought to HRD in the twenty-first century. Second, it analyzes the impact of technology on HRD practices with a focus on emerging HRD practices in virtual environments. Third, it provides insights into the future of virtual HRD in training and development, organizational development, and career development.
Chapter
Over recent years, the way public workers perform and interpret the own work has radically changed. Among these changes, what seems to have had a decisive impact is the advent of information and communication technologies. The informatization, digitalization, and computerization of procedures and jobs has made learning and the use of digital competencies necessary to face constant change and to take advantage of it. Digital competencies consist in knowing how to use the information society technologies for work, leisure, and communication with confidence and a critical spirit. So, those who manage to develop basic skills in information and communication technologies can juggle in this changing scenario. In this ongoing study, we hypothesize a relationship between digital competencies and job crafting. We hypothesize that civil servants developing this type of competencies can act proactively on their work by modifying its contents, relationships, and cognitive perception if they are creative. Implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on a relational perspective to human resource development and management (HRD/M), a multilevel and multisource field study has been conducted examining how HRM practices of job interaction requirements/task interdependence and HRD practice of cross‐training interplay in order to enhance employees' job/task citizenship performance (JCP). A two‐level research model from a sample of 43 organizations and 535 nested individuals demonstrates that socially enriched jobs (interactive and interdependent), when supplemented with organizational (system‐wide) cross‐training opportunities, increase extra efforts among employees to complete activities which are not part of their in‐role requirements. Thus, by applying a 1‐2‐1 moderation analysis, we offer new knowledge about social and cognitive aspects of human behavior above and beyond the traditional focus on narrowly defined job/task performance. In addition, we explicate how mutual understanding across job positions may practically contribute to achieving superior individual‐level JCP when relational architecture of the workplace is designed.
Article
Full-text available
The shaping of employees’ innovativeness is an important way of building a sustainable organization. Therefore, in order to have a sustainable police organization, the innovativeness of the police must be established in order to achieve the objective of maintaining law and order. In this study, Taiwan’s first-line border police officers served as the research subject, and the cross-level model perspective was adopted to investigate their innovativeness from task-oriented and socially oriented viewpoints. At the same time, investigations were made into the cross-level direct and indirect effects of social work characteristics and collective efficacy toward police officers’ self-efficacy and innovativeness. A multilevel model was adopted to analyze the quantitative data obtained with 249 border police officers in Taiwan as the research objects. The results showed that social work characteristics have a positive influence on collective efficacy, and motivational work characteristics have a positive influence on employees’ self-efficacy and innovativeness. Their self-efficacy showed a positive influence on innovativeness, and a mediating effect on the relationship between motivational work characteristics and innovativeness. Moreover, social work characteristics and collective efficacy have a cross-level contextual effect on self-efficacy and innovativeness, while social work characteristics and self-efficacy have a cross-level interaction on police officers’ innovativeness. In general, this study confirmed the importance of employees’ innovativeness for the establishment of a sustainable police organization. The characteristics of social and motivational work, self-efficacy, and collective effectiveness are important variables for establishing employees’ innovativeness.
Conference Paper
Work design theory research has a long and rich tradition in the industrial and organisational psychology. Work design identifies tasks, activities, relationships, and responsibilities in a specific job. It provides a comprehensive job description useful for examining and creating optimal working conditions, also by developing empowering workers or by restructuring their responsibilities. Human-robot interaction is among the domains with a high demand for work design. It is related to the widespread human fear of being replaced by machines at work, as well as the still small number of publications in this field, mostly devoted to human-robot interaction analysis conditions. Scholars have identified an elaborated set of tasks by a human during working with a robot. From work design perspective, besides expanding what tasks are considered, it is crucial to consider its meaning for creating critical psychological states, which are important for individual and organisational results. Thus, the paper preparation’s impetus describes and analyses the tasks carried out by robot operators in a more precise manner, by using psychological work analysis from the work design perspective. The research group consists of 32 robot operators from a large international manufacturing company. The Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) by Morgeson and Humphrey (2006) was used to describe 21 of work characteristics. Results show that Task Variety, Information Processing, Task Identity, Specialisation, Skill Variety, Problem-solving, Task Significance, Received Interdependence, Feedback From Others, and Feedback from Job are the highest work characteristics of robot operators. It suggests that robot operators distinguish non-routine, cognitive, and interpersonal tasks as more substantial than other tasks. Alike, according to the work design theory, the work characteristics indicated by respondents are recognised as important job-specific factors for workers’ critical psychological states i.e., experiencing meaning, feeling responsible for outcomes, and understanding the results of their efforts, and helping shape the context of the work. It is imperative that further and more extensive research is conducted to bring more attention to how work design can support individuals’ cognitive, social, and identity development in human robot interaction.
Article
While telework has been adopted widely in local governments because of the numerous potential benefits that it offers for the workforce, organizations, and society, little research has been done to examine if and how telework achieves expected worker outcomes in local governments. Drawing on insights from the social exchange and social exclusion theories, this article extends previous telework research by demonstrating the differential effects of telecommute and telework options on job satisfaction and performance of local government workforce. Data were collected through an online survey of workers at a large local government agency in California. Results showed that telework and telecommute options improved job satisfaction and performance of workers in the local government agency due to flexible work schedules and locations. In addition, telecommuters having more interpersonal interaction opportunities which reduce feelings of social isolation/work alienation experienced higher job satisfaction and performance than teleworkers.
Article
Full-text available
Hypercompetition has received much attention, but an important question has not been answered: What organizational forms lead to success in hypercompetitive environments? Hypercompetition forces firms to move more quickly and boldly and to experiment in ways that do not conform to traditional administrative theory. Bureaucratic vertical forms severely hamper the ability to respond to accelerating competition. Flexible forms, in contrast, can respond to a wide variety of changes in the competitive environment in an appropriate and timely way. The author examines several alternative flexible forms for coping with hypercompetitive environments. Flexibility derives from the repertoire of managerial capabilities (management challenge) and the responsiveness of the organization (organization design challenge). On the basis of theories of control, the author argues that organizational flexibility is inherently paradoxical and requires a constructive friction between change and preservation. The paradox of flexibility is portrayed in a conceptual model that relates competitive environments, certain types of flexibility, and organizational conditions. The author develops a rich typology of organizational forms for coping with hypercompetition, each of which reflects a particular way of addressing change and preservation. Furthermore, he explores different trajectories of organizational development over time, especially those relating to revitalization. The implications of the typology for strategy and organization design research in hypercompetitive environments are profound.
Article
Full-text available
Using data from companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 between 1980 and 1994, we examined 5,479 occurrences of changes in employment in terms of tare dependent variables: profitability (return on assets) and return on common stock. Firms that engaged in pure employment downsizing did not show significantly higher returns than the average companies in their own industries. However, companies that combined employment downsizing with asset restructuring generated higher returns on assets and stock returns than firms in their own industries.
Article
Full-text available
The mediating role of the critical psychological states (CPS) in the job characteristics model was examined in two studies. Using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) approach for examining mediation hypotheses, results from Study 1: (1) supported the hypothesized linkages between the core job dimensions and the CPS, and between the CPS and attitudinal outcomes; (2) provided no support for the hypothesis that all three CPS must be experienced to maximize internal work motivation; (3) supported the present authors’ hypothesis that the CPS would explain significant amounts of outcome variance beyond the core job dimensions; and (4) supported the present authors' hypothesis that the CPS are partial rather than complete mediator variables. Using causal modeling analyst and another sample, results from Study 2 provided the strongest support for a job characteristics model that allowed the core job dimensions to have direct and indirect effects on personal and work outcomes, further supporting the Study 1 finding that the CPS were partial mediator variables. The general discussion centered on the implications the present findings have for future job characteristics model research.
Article
Full-text available
We address gaps in the multilevel organizational theory development literature by critically examining the structure and function of collective constructs. Structure emerges from interaction and can, over time, come to influence systems of interaction. Functions represent the causal outputs of constructs and provide a mechanism for integrating constructs across levels. We then discuss implications arising from this perspective and present a set of guidelines for multilevel research and theory development.
Article
Full-text available
A within-subjects experimental design was used to study the impacts that 3 popular and successful techniques used in US studies had on the performance of workers in the largest textile factory in Russia. The results demonstrate both the potential benefits and problems of transporting US-based human resource management theories and techniques to other cultures. The finding confirmed 2 hyphotheses, which predict that extrinsic rewards and behavioral management interventions will have a positive impact on the performance of Russian textile workers. However, 2 other hypotheses, which predict that a participative intervention will not result in improved performance, was also confirmed. The participative intervention seemed to have a counterproductive effect on the Russian workers' performance. The failure of the participative approach, however, does not mean that this approach will not work across cultures. Historical and cultural values and norms should be recognized and overcome for such a technique to work effectively.
Article
Full-text available
Developed a taxonomy of job design approaches from the literature, including (1) a motivational approach from organizational psychology, (2) a mechanistic approach from classic industrial engineering, (3) a biological approach from work physiology and biomechanics, and (4) a perceptual/motor approach from experimental psychology. The Multimethod Job Design Questionnaire (MJDQ) was developed reflecting these approaches. A corresponding taxonomy of job outcomes was developed, and hypotheses were generated about relationships between job design approaches and outcomes. A field study of 121 jobs, 215 19–63 yr old job incumbents, and 23 27–58 yr old supervisors was conducted using this instrument. Results show that the MJDQ was reliable and that most hypotheses were supported. Jobs that scored high on the Motivational subscale had employees who were more satisfied and motivated, rated higher on job performance, and exhibited less absenteeism. Jobs high on the Mechanistic subscale had higher utilization levels and lower training requirements. Jobs high on the Biological scale required less physical effort, produced fewer aches and pains, and resulted in fewer medical incidents. Jobs high on the Perceptual/Motor scale were less likely to produce accidents, errors, stress, and work overload and required fewer mental demands. Sample items are appended. (113 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Hypercompetition has received much attention, but an important question has not been answered: What organizational forms lead to success in hypercompetitive environments? Hypercompetition forces firms to move more quickly and boldly and to experiment in ways that do not conform to traditional administrative theory. Bureaucratic vertical forms severely hamper the ability to respond to accelerating competition. Flexible forms, in contrast, can respond to a wide variety of changes in the competitive environment in an appropriate and timely way. The author examines several alternative flexible forms for coping with hypercompetitive environments. Flexibility derives from the repertoire of managerial capabilities (management challenge) and the responsiveness of the organization (organization design challenge). On the basis of theories of control, the author argues that organizational flexibility is inherently paradoxical and requires a constructive friction between change and preservation. The paradox of flexibility is portrayed in a conceptual model that relates competitive environments, certain types of flexibility, and organizational conditions. The author develops a rich typology of organizational forms for coping with hypercompetition, each of which reflects a particular way of addressing change and preservation. Furthermore, he explores different trajectories of organizational development over time, especially those relating to revitalization. The implications of the typology for strategy and organization design research in hypercompetitive environments are profound.
Article
Full-text available
This paper critically examines available theoretical models which have been derived from statistically established patterns of association between contextual and organizational variables. These models offer an interpretation of organizational structure as a product of primarily economic constraints which contextual variables are assumed to impose. It is argued that available models in fact attempt to explain organization at one remove by ignoring the essentially political process, whereby power-holders within organizations decide upon courses of strategic action. This `strategic choice' typically includes not only the establishment of structural forms but also the manipulation of environmental features and the choice of relevant performance standards. A theoretical re-orientation of this kind away from functional imperatives and towards a recognition of political action is developed and illustrated in the main body of the paper.
Article
A company's sales workforce must be able to present their products and services using state-of-the-art personal computer technology. To communicate effectively with the company's main office, a salesforce working in the field must also be able to collect and transmit order data from remote locations. The authors studied how a company combined salesforce automation with a telecommuting program to create two new business strategies designed to improve organizational performance. The authors not only describe a successful "telework" program, but they also provide a framework for conducting a cost/benefit analysis. They conclude that the start-up cost of the telework program was high because the IT infrastructure was not current, however, the direct costs and savings offset each other within 3 to 4 years. In addition, they report that ongoing costs declined rapidly, depending on the number of new teleworkers joining the organization. The telework program enhanced accountability because the new software applications allowed managers greater oversight of employee activities, Productivity also increased. After learning how to increase the speed and accuracy of internal operations. the salesforce spent more time with customers and generated more sales. By integrating technology into business processes, the telecommuting program also spurred organizational adjustments and cultural change. Gradually, business managers adjusted policies and procedures to conform to the program's technical and business needs. They shifted from managing by attendance to managing by results, which depended on a reliable IT infrastructure and technical tools for communicating with their employees. The telework program quickened the pace of IT adoption at this company by linking IT improvements to the organization's mission and survival. This mobilized the salesforce, the information systems staff, and middle managers to adapt to and accept the new business environment.
Article
The author, using data on 694 U.S. manufacturing establishments from a 1992 survey, examines the incidence of innovative work practices (teams, job rotation, quality circles, and Total Quality Management) and investigates what variables, including human resource practices, are associated with the adoption of these practices. He finds that about 35% of private sector establishments with 50 or more employees made substantial use of flexible work organization in 1992. Some factors associated with an establishment's adoption of these practices are being in an internationally competitive product market, having a technology that requires high levels of skill, following a “high road†strategy that emphasizes variety, service, and quality rather than low cost, and using such human resource practices as high levels of training and innovative pay systems.
Article
It is widely argued that modern manufacturing settings require employees to adopt a customer-focused strategic orientation and a broad and proactive role orientation. Yet empirical investigation of this issue is lacking. We describe the development of measures of both types of work orientation and present two field studies that examine how these orientations change. Findings suggest that, although the implementation of new production practices can in itself lead to the development of a strategic orientation appropriate to modern manufacturing, change toward a more flexible role orientation additionally requires the introduction of autonomous forms of working.
Article
This book illuminates what is really happening in the American workplace. The contributors explain how the widespread restructuring of American firms-usually resulting in a reduction of the workforce to cut costs-has had a profound impact on the lives of workers. The book explains how the new relationship requires high skill levels, but does not provide training for them. Workers themselves now must take charge of their personal development instead of relying on their employers. Their alienation from their firms is compounded by the large disparity between the pay of top managers and that of workers. The future is uncertain, but the authors argue that the traditional relationship between employer and employees will continue to erode.
Article
This article examines the impact of downsizing on product innovation. It compares the experiences of product innovators in companies with a high degree of downsizing with those in companies with less downsizing. Higher downsizing hinders innovation by reducing people's ability to connect their product strategically to the firm. Specifically, downsizing breaks the network of relationships that innovators use to make these vital strategic connections. To overcome the negative consequences of downsizing on product innovation, managers should support innovation sponsors and champions, and retain "old timers" who constitute the network. They should also bolster the network by building more connections among departments, and between new and established businesses. Finally, they should incorporate innovation directly into their firm's strategy.
Article
Business practice has been at odds with organizational theory: whereas one managerial "fashion"-downsizing-involves divestiture of human assets, another-learning-advocates investment in human assets. We use a social network frame to consider the impact of downsizing on organizational learning and propose that the effects can be viewed as ct nonlinear function of learning network size. From this perspective the potential damage to a firm's learning capacity is greater than headcount ratios imply.
Article
This study addressed the problem of task revision, a virtually unresearched issue in the work performance literature. We defined task revision as action taken to correct a faulty procedure, an inaccurate job description, or a role expectation that is dysfunctional for an organization. Two experiments were constructed to measure task revision and test for its determinants. Results showed that goal setting inhibited task revision: instructions to "do your best" were superior to a specific goal. Facilitators of task revision were the salience of alternatives and being in a supervisory position with accountability pressures. We discuss the implications of these results in terms of the functions of counter-role behavior for organizations and the need to broaden the construct of work performance. Work performance has long occupied a central role in organizational research. It was the primary issue during the beginnings of industrial psychology (e.g., Munsterberg, 1913), of major concern during the human relations movement (e.g., Likert, 1961), and at center stage as empirical research blossomed in organizational behavior (e.g., Vroom, 1964). Now voluminous, the literature on work performance ranges from the extensive study of organizational and social factors that influence work behavior to the analysis of cognitive processes underlying task effort. In recent years, the most common form of performance research has translated the issue into a cognitive question. The aim has not only been to find conditions under which people will work harder, but to explain the mental processes underlying task activity. For example, early versions of need theory, which emphasized stages and growth in human desires, have gradually given way to expectancy models in which valued outcomes are a part of a cognitive calculus hypothesized to precede behavior. Likewise, reinforcement theory, with its emphasis on external incentives and behavioral learning, has been overtaken by goal-setting approaches in which salient outcomes serve as mental targets for behavior. Though we do not yet know exactly how individuals process information in performance contexts,
Article
It is often the case that ideal sociotechnical systems (STS) profiles cannot be implemented. Consequently, STS designers often must decide which among the many design features in an ideal STS profile to implement. This paper presents a theory for understanding the dependencies among ideal design features. With such a theory, if choices among ideal features must be made, the relative impact of choosing not to implement one ideal feature on the effectiveness of other ideal features will be better understood. Several propositions are offered based on the theory, including a proposal that not all ideal design features are needed since some can compensate for others. The theory was applied to manufacturing organizations and tested using data obtained from site visits to 86 companies. The results indicated that the theory significantly differentiated higher from lower performing manufacturing organizations. The theory has been embodied in a computational modeling software program that has been used by over 50 industrial sites in the United States. Implications of such a theory for STS practice as well as furthering STS theory-building are discussed.
Article
This paper develops a new theoretical model with which to examine the interaction between technology and organizations. Early research studies assumed technology to be an objective, external force that would have deterministic impacts on organizational properties such as structure. Later researchers focused on the human aspect of technology, seeing it as the outcome of strategic choice and social action. This paper suggests that either view is incomplete, and proposes a reconceptualization of technology that takes both perspectives into account. A theoretical model—the structurational model of technology—is built on the basis of this new conceptualization, and its workings explored through discussion of a field study of information technology. The paper suggests that the reformulation of the technology concept and the structurational model of technology allow a deeper and more dialectical understanding of the interaction between technology and organizations. This understanding provides insight into the limits and opportunities of human choice, technology development and use, and organizational design. Implications for future research of the new concept of technology and the structurational model of technology are discussed.
Article
Aspects of organizational context that have been held to be relevant to organizational structure were examined. Seven primary concepts of organizational context, viz.: origin and history, ownership and control, size, charter, technology, location and dependence on other organizations, were analyzed and operationally defined scales constructed. These were used as independent variables in a multivariate regression analysis to predict three underlying dimensions of organization structure previously established. The size of the correlations obtained on a sample of 46 organizations in the English Midlands (0.75 with structuring of activities using size and technology as predictors; 0.75 with concentration of authority using dependence and location as predictors; 0.57 with line control of workflow, using the operating variability scale of charter as a predictor) indicates that these aspects of context are salient for structure. The framework of contextual and structural variables is seen as making possible processual studies on a much more rigorous comparative basis than before.
Article
The problem and the solution. This chapter presents theory building from a social constructionist perspective. It asks what constitutes theory for a social constructionist and compares the assumptions made within this paradigm with those embedded in quantitative research. The chapter then offers an eightstep approach to theory building, at the same time as illustrating this approach with an example taken from the author’s own research. Finally, the chapter offers a discussion of the legitimacy and a critique of this approach.
Article
This paper is a review of an experiment to restructure the management and decision making process at the Rushton Mine (Pennsylvania). Brief discussion of productivity decline and its relationship to a higher educated work force.
Article
It is often the case that ideal sociotechnicalsystems (STS) profiles cannot be implemented.Consequently, STS designers often must decide whichamong the many design features in an ideal STS profileto implement. This paper presents a theory forunderstanding the dependencies among ideal designfeatures. With such a theory, if choices among idealfeatures must be made, the relative impact of choosing not to implement one ideal feature on theeffectiveness of other ideal features will be betterunderstood. Several propositions are offered based onthe theory, including a proposal that not all idealdesign features are needed since some can compensatefor others. The theory was applied to manufacturingorganizations and tested using data obtained from sitevisits to 86 companies. The results indicated that the theory significantly differentiated higherfrom lower performing manufacturing organizations. Thetheory has been embodied in a computational modelingsoftware program that has been used by over 50 industrial sites in the United States.Implications of such a theory for STS practice as wellas furthering STS theory-building arediscussed.
Article
The relationship between people and the organizations they work for is changing. Corporations no longer can offer the job security and career paths they used to. A new relationship needs to be developed that rewards performance and skills in ways that contribute to organizational effectiveness.
Article
The Problem and the Solution. Performance is multidimensional and often poorly defined. A review of the performance literature in other fields revealed the need for a general performance model that embraces multiple measures and fits any organization. This chapter presents a functional taxonomy of performance that incorporates performance outcomes, performance drivers, and their evaluation In addition, implications for practice are discussed.
Article
Today's work environment is becoming increasingly volatile, and is characterized by contingent strategies and the distributed nature of expertise. These conditions necessitate the development of new types of learning interventions that would integrate learning more fully with working and account for the distributed nature of learning, knowledge and expertise. In this paper, I propose to use the activity theory to conceptualize and develop socially situated learning experiences in a variety of human resource development situations. A conceptual model and a specific example of the application of this model in a management education setting are provided.
Article
Downsizing has become a popular organization-wide intervention for improving effectiveness. However, much of the existing literature is based on prescriptions and anecdotes. This article presents a longitudinal, quasi-experimental field study of a downsizing intervention in a healthcare organization. Measures of work attitudes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, supervisor support, and workgroup trust) were taken at annual intervals over a 3-year period. Results partially supported the hypotheses that managers and front-line employees would report different reactions to downsizing programs. Explanations and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Article
The founders of the sociotechnical model perceived its relevance at the macro level of the community, at the meso level of whole organizations, as well as at the micro level of the primary work systems, but it is at the primary work system that most applications have been carried out. An efficient micro level sociotechnical solution may still cause the technology to have a harmful impact on the environment. An increasing popular awareness of environmental damage due to certain technologies leads one to consider an extension of the Important joint optimization concept to a systemic heuristic device called the socioecotechnical model in which the intra and extra-organizational factors can be jointly assessed and optimized.
Article
A review of 31 methodologically rigorous case studies and experiments in job re-design showed only limited support lor the Job Characteristics Model. Where job re-design led to employee perceptions of improved job content then employees were also likely to experience higher job satisfaction. Job performance improvements however were not significantly associated with job perceptions, intrinsic work motivation, or job satisfaction, although they were associated with pay rises and job losses among employees. These findings are accounted for by a twin-track model which suggests that the determinants of performance are different from the determinants of satisfaction. While job re-design appears to give employees higher job satisfaction, there is no strong evidence that in and of itself it motivates them to higher performance.
Article
This paper reviews the development of sociotechnical systems theory and research over the past 30 years, paying particular attention to the evolution of the paradigm in North America during the past decade. Elements of sociotechnical systems theory discussed here include the conceptualization of social systems, technical systems, and open systems, joint optimization, organizational choice, variance control, boundary location, support congruence, quality of work life, and continuous learning. A review of 134 experiments is then summarized, indicating which features of sociotechnical systems design are used most frequently, and which in turn are associated with reported success on a number of critical outcome dimensions such as productivity, costs, quality, and satisfaction. An unexpected finding of this review was that while sociotechnical system experiments have been extremely successful overall, the number of experiments involving technological innovation or change is relatively small; moreover, from the results achieved in these experiments, it is obvious that we still have much to learn regarding the design of technical systems for joint optimization. Methodological issues and areas in need of further research are explored.