Conant, Eaton H.; Kilbridge, Maurice D.
April 1965
ILR Review;Apr65, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p377
Academic Journal
This article reports on the study of a job enlargement program that is being carried out in a Midwestern manufacturing company. The firm is a manufacturer of home laundry equipment and is located in a town of some 20,000 in a rural setting in a Midwestern state. In recent years, approximately 2,000 persons have found employment in the two local plants operated by the firm. A United Automobile Workers' local is bargaining representative for blue-collar workers. For five years the firm has deliberately pursued a program of removing work from progressive assembly lines and restoring it to single-operator bench stations. In accomplishing this transfer, the company has attempted to add skill, responsibility and task variety to bench jobs that have replaced conventional assembly-line positions. The first part of the article discusses the job-enlargement concept and identifies characteristics of the enlarged jobs. The second part examines economic aspects of job enlargement and reports how the firm obtained cost benefits through redesign of work. The third part examines implications of job-enlargement technology for worker social interaction patterns. Finally, the fourth part reports the study of worker attitudes.


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