task enlargement

 job enlargement Essay

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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Capital t


can be

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...