and duties at an increased level of difficulty would ideally be rewarded through a fair wage compensation plan. Perhaps the cry "It's not in my job description" will be heard with less stridency.
T. ZANE REEVES
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JOB DESIGN. The organization of tasks, duties, and responsibilities assigned to a unit of work in order to achieve a certain objective. When designing a job, consideration is given to the content, the methods used, the effect on the person doing the job, and its relationship to other jobs within the organization. To state it in another way, it is the way in which the skills, knowledge, abilities, and relationships are arranged to accomplish organizational goals. The results of job design are expressed in the job description.
Before the Industrial Revolution, job design was all but nonexistent. Work was viewed as a static process and was defined by the skill necessary to accomplish a specific task. A person who was able to demonstrate the skill would be hired. With the Industrial Revolution and developing technology, work became more complex. Job design in the early 1900s was focused on methods to make the tasks as simple as possible and to make the worker more efficient in accomplishing these tasks. This era was characterized by the "engineering approach" known as scientific management. Frederick W. Taylor, an industrial engineer, was the leading proponent (see Taylor, Frederick W.).
The middle decades of the twentieth century brought about a change in the way work was defined. The focus switched from the needs of the job to the needs of the person. Work relationships and work responsibilities became entwined. Instead of job simplification, the strategy of job design was one of job enrichment. This approach, known as the Human Relations School, combined knowledge, skills, and abilities with the personal desires and motivations of employees and organizational factors to create meaningful work experiences.
Along with organizational and employee needs, federal legislation now plays an important role. The 1935 Wagner Act is considered by some to be the first time legislation was used to regulate the workplace. Since then a number of laws have been enacted dealing with employee issues, which have had an impact on job design. A recent example is the 1991 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA, in conjunction with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, addresses the issue of discrimination against qualified individuals with a disability. The act requires that employers not only make the physical accommodations necessary for those in this protected class but