Different Types of Approaches

Engineering Approach

The most important single element in the Engineering approaches proposed by FW Taylor and others, was the ask idea. The work of every workman is fully planned out by management at least one day in advance and each man receives in most cases complete written instructions, describing in detail the task which he has to accomplish. This task specifies not only what is to be done but how it is to be done and the exact time allowed for doing it. The principle offered by scientific management to job design can be summarized:

1) Work should be scientifically studied. Taylor advocated fragmentation and routinisation of work to reap the advantages of specialization.
2) Work should be arranged so that workers can be efficient.
3) Employees selected for work should be matched to the demands of the job.
4) Employees should be trained to perform the job.
5) Monetary compensation should be used to reward successful performance of the job.

These principles of job design are quite rational and appealing because they point towards increased organizational performance. Specialization and routinization over a period of time result in job incumbents becoming experts quickly leading to higher levels of output. Despite the assumed gains in efficiency behavioral scientists have found that some job incumbents dislike specialized and routine jobs.

Problems with engineering approach:

After listening to several complaints from employees about their highly specialized jobs, Walker and Guest indicated the problems with job specialization as thus:

Repetition: Employees performed a few tasks repeatedly. This quickly led to the employees to become very bored with the job. There was no challenge to the employees to learn anything new or to improve the job.

Mechanical pacing: Assembly in workers was made to maintain a certain regular pace of work. They could not take a break when they needed to or simply divert their attention to some other aspects of the job or another individual.

No end product: Employees found that they were not turning out any identifiable end product; consequently they had little pride and enthusiasm in their work.

Little social interaction: employees complained that because the assembly line demanded constant attention. There was very little opportunity to interact casually with the other employees and share their work experiences, beliefs and sentiments.

No Input: Employees also complained that they had little chance to choose the methods by which they performed their jobs, the tools which they used or the work procedures. This, of course created little interest in the job because there was nothing which they could improve or change.

Human relations approach:

The human relations approach recognized the need to design jobs in an interesting manner. In the past two decades much work has been directed towards changing jobs so that job incumbents can satisfy their needs for growth, recognition and responsibility. Herzberg’s research popularized the notion of enhancing need satisfaction through what is called job enrichment. On widely publicized approach to job enrichment use what is called job characteristics model and this has been explained separately in the ensuring section.

According to Herzberg there are two types of factors: viz (1) motivators like achievements, recognition, work itself, responsibility advancement and growth (2) hygiene factors (which merely maintain the employee on the job and in the organization) like working conditions, organizational policies, inter personnel relations, pay and job security. According to Herzberg the employees are dissatisfied with the job if maintenance factors to the required degree are not introduced into the job. But, the employee may not be satisfied even if the required maintenance factors are provided. Herzberg feels that the employee will be satisfied with his job and he will be more productive if motivators are introduced into the job content. As such he asserts that the job designer has to introduce hygiene factors adequately to reduce dissatisfaction and building motivating factors. Thus, Herzberg has put emphasis on the psychological needs of the employees in designing jobs.
Source: HRM