Job enlargement is a job design technique wherein there is an increase in the number of tasks associated with a certain job. In other words, it means increasing the scope of one’s duties and responsibilities. The increase in scope is quantitative in nature and not qualitative and at the same level.
Job enlargement is a horizontal restructuring method that aims at increase in the workforce flexibility and at the same time reducing monotony that may creep up over a period of time. It is also known as horizontal loading in that the responsibilities increase at the same level and not vertically.
Advantages of Job Enlargement
1. Variety of Tasks: In job enlargement, horizontal loading of the tasks is there. Increasing the number of tasks can reduce the level of boredom of the employees.
2. Enlarged and Meaningful Work Modules: Sometimes, the jobs are enlarged so that one worker completes a whole unit of work or a major portion of it. This will increase the satisfaction of the worker as he can see his contribution to the entire project.
3. Optimum Utilization of Abilities: Enlarged jobs tend to better utilize the physical and mental skills abilities of the workers. Enlarged jobs, with optimal levels of complexity can create tasks, which are challenging but attainable.
4. Worker Paced Control: In job enlargement, workers move from a machine paced production line to a job which is paced by themselves. The workers will enjoy his work more, if he can vary the rhythm and work at his own pace. He will also feel less tired in this way.
5. Meaningful Feed Back: Enlarged jobs allow for more meaningful performance feedback. It will be even more motivating if it is tied to evaluations and organisational rewards.
According to Herzberg merely giving a worker different kind of jobs is not enough because the basic nature of the job remains the same, As such it does not work as a motivating factor. Rather, there should be up-gradation of authority and responsibility.
- Job enlargement tends to be a costly affair.
- Productivity may fall in the short run, due to the introduction of the new system.
- Employee-unions often argue for increased pay because of the increased work load.
- Some jobs may still be routine and boring even after enlargement.