Job Enrichment Critical Essay

Based on a major study of High Performance Work Practices (HPWPs) in North America by Appelbaum et al. (2000) found that new forms of job design provided production line employees with the opportunity to contribute increased discretionary effort and to participate in workplace problem-solving. These researchers provided empirical evidence that conscious efforts by employers to increase employee discretion and job autonomy resulted in improved job satisfaction for employees and higher levels of organizational performance (Appelbaum et al. 000). Workforce involvement in decision-making may also be consistent with job enrichment practices (Spence Laschinger et al. 2004). Job enrichment involves providing increased levels of responsibility to lower level employees, including the delegation of work tasks previously undertaken by supervisors, and the provision of increasingly skilled tasks to line employees.

The theoretical basis for enrichment efforts is Hackman and Oldham’s (1975) ‘job characteristics’ model, which explores how a combination of specific job characteristics such as skill variety and task significance affect the individual’s experience of meaningful work and their sense of responsibility for work outcomes. These characteristics have, in turn, been linked to improvements in work motivation, job satisfaction and work quality, reduced absenteeism and lower labour turnover (Ford 1969; Hackman et al. 1975).

However, job enrichment has received wide publicity but has not always produced favourable results in the workplace. A great deal of debate exists over the benefits and limitations of job enrichment: it clearly is not for everyone. Ralph Brown (2004) summed it up very nicely: Some people are very resistant to more responsibilities or to opportunities for personal growth. Researchers report that some people they expected to resist seized the opportunity. Enriching jobs is a particularly effective way to develop employees provided the jobs are truly enriched, not just more work for them to do.

The disadvantages are that job enrichment may lead to greater work pressure and that employees have to start performing tasks which were not originally required of them. Job design: Job design is the specification of the content of a job, the material and equipment required to do the job, and the relation of the job to other jobs. A well-designed job promotes the achievement of the organization’s strategic business objectives by structuring work so it integrates management requirements for efficiency and employee needs for satisfaction.

Thus, effective job design presents a major challenge for the HR manager. And job enrichment is one of the methods of job design. Job enrichment is an attempt to motivate employees by giving them the opportunity to use the range of their abilities. It is an idea that was developed by the American psychologist Frederick Hertzberg in the 1950s. It can be contrasted to job enlargement which simply increases the number of tasks without changing the challenge. As such job enrichment has been described as ‘vertical loading’ increases the complexity of work to promote interest.

Thus, job enrichment builds motivating factors into the job content by: combing tasks, establishing client relationships, creating natural work units, expanding jobs vertically and opening feedback channels. Supporter: Patterson, West and Wail (2004) found that firms providing lower level employees with job enrichment and skill enhancement experienced a significant boost in productivity and profitability. A Sri Lankan study of the impact of introducing self managed teams in a large textile mill reported increased productivity, higher product quality, lower reject rates and higher employee satisfaction.

The process of delegating increased decision-making responsibility to workplace teams changed the organization’s structures, decision making processes and job design at workplace level, with increased levels of empowerment and training being provided to team members (Jayawardana and Fonseka 1996). Nevertheless, the potential for improved performance outcomes to follow the provision of increased employee input into workplace decision-making relies on employee acceptance of the relevance of these practices and on the existence of a climate of involvement.

One means of creating this climate is to appoint work group leaders who will model the behaviours valued by the organisation, and who are also able to motivate employees to mirror these behaviours (Richards and Vandenberg 2005). In Sri Lanka’s Garment Industry, the manager introduced process controllers into the three production lines from January to April 2002; line employees underwent a series of training programs. The training focused on the company’s customers and products, the production process and techniques related to increasing quality and problem-solving.

The sessions were conducted by the plant manager, the quality assurance manager and the work study manager. Each session was followed by a discussion with production line members. The training programs lasted for two hours after work, with all line employees paid for their participation. At production meetings, held once a week, line employees were given feedback on their performance, in particular in relation to line efficiency and end-line rejects. During the initial training, production line employees were given a briefing on market conditions in the industry and customer requirements.

They were also provided with an opportunity to study their line’s performance for the previous three months in relation to on-time delivery, total rejects and customer returns. The training provided encouraged employees to take responsibility for performance outcomes such as product reject rates and on-standard efficiency levels. The training manager provided feedback to line employees where the performance of one production line lagged that of the organisation as a whole. The training also addressed skill development, the organisation of work and the use of computer-aided information systems and quality control systems.

Each machine was equipped with a computer terminal, which gave details of efficiency standards, losses, stoppages and earnings based on incentive payments. The case explored the impact of a job enrichment initiative to devolve increased responsibility for monitoring workplace productivity, product quality and workforce attendance to line employees. We found that the introduction of process controllers generated substantial improvements in LM Collection’s performance over this period.

Efficiency levels rose from 41 per cent to 61 per cent and product rejects declined from 10 per cent to 2 per cent, while absenteeism levels declined from almost 10 per cent to 2. 4 per cent by March 2003. On the whole, productivity levels improved, product quality increased and workforce absence and turnover episodes declined over the period of this study. Critiques: In the other hand, there are drawbacks of job enrichment when the HR managers do not think about the matters from employees, and no one seems to mention the costs.

In some employees eyes, the job enrichment is merely an enforce change to jobs in order for the organisation to obtain higher productivity from its workers. With the pressure of more responsibilities and tasks, the employees may not have enough time to give the feedback of performance. Either actually the workers do not want enriched their jobs or the job is not that easy to enrich. . Job enrichment is a type of job redesign intended to reverse the effects of tasks that are repetitive requiring little autonomy.

Some of these effects are boredom, lack of flexibility, and employee dissatisfaction (Leach & Wall, 2004). The underlying principle is to expand the scope of the job with a greater variety of tasks, vertical in nature, that require self-sufficiency. Since the goal is to give the individual exposure to tasks normally reserved for differently focused or higher positions, merely adding more of the same responsibilities related to an employee’s current position are not considered job enrichment.

Job enrichment can only be truly successful if planning includes support for all phases of the initiative. Ohio State University Extension began a job enrichment program in 1992 and surveyed the participants five years later. The results, broken down into 3 sub-buckets of data beyond the main grouping of advantages/disadvantages as shown in Table 1, indicate the University had not fully considered the planning and administrative aspects of the program (Fourman and Jones, 1997).

While the benefits are seemingly obvious, programs fail not because of a lack of benefits, but rather due to implementation problems. These problems can include a perception of too great a cost, lack of long-term commitment of resources, and potential job classification changes (Cunningham and Eberle, 1990). In order for a job enrichment program to produce positive results, worker needs and organizational needs must be analyzed and acted upon. According to Cunningham and Eberle (1990), before an enrichment program is begun, the following questions should be asked:

  1. Do employees need jobs that involve responsibility, variety, feedback, challenge, accountability, significance, and opportunities to learn?
  2. What techniques can be implemented without changing the job classification plan?
  3. What techniques would require changes in the job classification plan?

A job enrichment program can be a very effective intervention in some situations where a Performance Technician is faced with a request for motivational training.


In my opinion, job enrichment can bring about improvement in both job performance and job satisfaction. A survey of almost 100 research studies found job enrichment resulted in greater productivity, improved product quality, fewer employee grievances, improved worker attitudes; reduce absenteeism and labour turnover, and lower costs. Therefore, improved quality of working life brought about by job enrichment has not only social benefits but also bottom-line benefits to the organization.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyStudyWriters
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
great job as always
Customer 452773, February 26th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Although it took 2 revisions I am satisfied but I did receive it late because of that.
Customer 452603, March 25th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you
Customer 452773, March 19th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent job! got an A, thank you
Customer 452773, May 24th, 2023
excellent job made a 93
Customer 452773, March 22nd, 2023
Great job
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Managerial Accounting & Legal Aspects of Business ACC/543
excellent work
Customer 452773, February 7th, 2024
Don't really see any of sources I provided, but elsewise its great, thank you!
Customer 452697, May 8th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent job!
Customer 452773, May 25th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent job thank you Your Score 166.25/ 175- A 1. Current Culture 15% of total grade 18.37 Criterion "1. Current Culture" has textual feedback Criterion Feedback I see interesting points, though, in general they are not about the culture.
Customer 452773, June 4th, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 17th, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp