Strategy and people：job design
（a） Assess the contribution of four different approaches to job design （scientific management， job enrichment， Japanese management and re-engineering）。
（b） Explain the human resource implications of knowledge work and post-industrial job design.
（c） Discuss the tensions and potential ethical issues related to job design.
Job design can be thought of as starting with the work of Frederick Taylor （1856–1915） who devised ‘scientific management’ in the early 20th century. It will seem odd to you now， but before Taylor‘s ideas， management played little part in determining how workers could best achieve their tasks. Management would， of course， make sure that workers came to work and would even set production targets， but it was largely left up to each worker to get on with it. This omission in the management function probably arose because until the middle of the 1800s many jobs and professions were more like crafts where the craftsmen were assumed to know best. However， with growing industrialisation craft industries gave way to large manufacturing companies， but until Taylor， management was reluctant to interfere with the detail of work practices.
Taylor believed that it was a duty of management to discover the best way of accomplishing tasks and then to instruct their workforce in these methods. Management‘s discoveries were to be based on scientific methods such as trying out different approaches and measuring the results， for example， by timing operations and analysing their component parts. As a result of these investigations， workers should become more productive – and boost their earnings.
Often management‘s scientific experiments concluded that maximum productivity was achieved by breaking down processes into small steps and then requiring each worker to repeatedly carry out one step only. When this approach was combined with Henry Ford’s invention of the production line （where workers had little control over the speed at which they had to work） the jobs were repetitive， low skilled， pressurised， and neither satisfying nor motivating. It was certainly difficult to take a pride in the finished product and quality often suffered. However， the de-skilling of jobs provided employers with more power over their workforce. In a woodwork business instead of employing skilled carpenters to make entire chairs it is easier and cheaper to have one employee who only cuts lengths of wood， another employee who only drills holes and so on. Each of these employees is low-skilled， easily replaced and cheap.