Decreased Costs Through Job Augmentation: A Case
Author(s): Maurice M. Kilbridge
Supply: The Log of Organization, Vol. 33, No . some (Oct., 1960), pp. 357-362 Published by simply: The College or university of Chi town Press
Steady URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2350917.
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REDUCED COSTS THROUGH WORK ENLARGEMENT: A CASE
MAURICE G. KILBRIDGE*
term " jobenlargement" cur- job augmentation can be more efficient
rently found in Americanindustryto
describe the trend toward putting
back into industrial operate some of the
skill, responsibility, and variety that
have been eradicated by the extreme
division of labor. The literaturecontains
many accountsof successfuljob enhancement in both equally mechanical and clerical job. 1Generally, the success is usually stated in
terms of greaterworkersatisfaction and
management-labor rapport. Making costs are generally cited simply in a adverse way, towards the effect that they can
have not elevated, or else refer to is
produced that, even though wage prices increased because of the greater skill and responsibility demands with the enlarged,
upgraded jobs, it had been hoped that increasesin productivityand improvement of quality could offset this. One has got the
uneasy feeling from learning accountsof
work enlargementthat it could yield hazy
and indirectsavings in the long term nevertheless
that for the short term it is nearly certain
to increasethe cost of directlabor. In the event this
is so, the prospect to get job augmentation
would appeardim, since currenttangible
costs generally argue more cogently than
future intangible savings.
The situation presented in this article shows that
* Professor of production management, Graduate
Institution of Business, University of Chicago.
one particular Cf. Robert H. Visitor, " Job Enlargement: A
Revolution in Job Design, " Employees Administration, XX, No . two (March-April, 1957), 9-16; T. Douglas Elliott, " Elevating Office Output through Work Enlargement, " in The Man Side from the Office
Manager's Job (" Office Managing Series, " No .
134 [New York: American Management Connection,
19531), pp. 3-15.
than job field of expertise is, particularly if
the latter is definitely carriedtoo far. The analysis
is based on touchable cost savings simply.
Although it does not argue the costreduction advantages of job growth in general, it illustrates obviously that right now there
is an optimum extent to the division of
labor and that, when division is usually carried
past an acceptable limit, labor costs tend to maximize.
Before the circumstance is talked about, it would
always be well to agreeon a definitionof task enlargement. The literature appears to provide not any complete and explicit description. Perhaps the ideal is that of Elliott, who
definesit, largely regarding its effect on
workers, as " changingthe job on its own, by
improving or increasing the size of it to feature a
greatervariety of operationsto lessen the
monotony also to utilize completely the
potential skills and intellectual capabilities
of the individual. " 2 By inference coming from
this and cases of job enhancement described in the literature, the following explicit description is proposed: Job enlargement is the enlargement of task content to will include a wider number of tasks and to
increase the worker'sfreedom of rate, responsibility pertaining to...