7.1 Job Design

When discussing job design, the focus is on the macro approach of how a leader, within an organization structure, assigns tasks for individuals. Job design follows the fundamentals of scope, depth, and specialization of the job.  It relates to the job’s simplification, rotation, enlargement, and enrichment. Motivation within job design uses the framework of a matrix which follows certain fundamentals.

What this matrix shows is that individuals within organizations who are challenged, with low change and low turnover, find more enrichment in their job. A learning organization, such as a university, is obligated to foster learning.  This involves a massive amount of planning, and should include members from services, staff, faculty, and administration.  This challenge is what provides the motivation to complete tasks with generally low turnover within the university system. It provides more time for leaders  to complete those challenging tasks, leading to a rewarding and enriched job.

This relates to the ideas presented in chapter six about reinforcement within the job. Jobs that are well-thought-out usually carry a high level of positive reinforcement from managers to subordinates. Positive reinforcement is the action taken upon by the leader to reward someone for doing good work. Within a proper job design, subordinates are focused on attaining goals leading to further positive reinforcement. There are two positive reinforcement strategies commonly used:

  • Contingent Reinforcement
  • Immediate Reinforcement

Contingent reinforcement< is used only when desired behaviour is exhibited.  This could be a team reaching a quarterly goal, or, at the end of the day, members of a team successfully worked within the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Immediate reinforcement is in the name: immediate and is the positive feedback right after an action, more commonly after a good idea during a round-table discussion, or right after a phone call closing a deal with a prospective client. Regardless of the reinforcement strategy used, there is a specific set of guidelines required to provide positive reinforcement to colleagues within an organization:

  • Clearly identify desired work behaviours.
  • Maintain a diverse inventory of rewards.
  • Inform everyone what must be done to get rewards.
  • Follow the rules of immediate and contingent reinforcement (as in: don’t do it just one time, and not the other times).

Reinforcement can be a very beneficial tool in helping with initial job design and desired leadership outcomes for an organization. Moving forward in this chapter, a deeper look within the job characteristics of simplification, rotation, enlargement, and enrichment will be examined. Those characteristics will outline how they can be used within an institution.

Along with reinforcement, the ability to motivate can have positive effects on an organization, within a learning organization motivation can be a driver for learning and development[1]. Furthermore, embracing a level of phonological awareness helps develop learning when teachers are trying to educate students, especially students of a younger age[2]. What this says is that motivation can be a powerful tool to help learners achieve the ability to start. Good leaders are able to motivate the members in their organization with a guiding ethos, or a goal to produce learning.




Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Leadership and Management in Learning Organizations Copyright © by Clayton Smith; Carson Babich; and Mark Lubrick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book