Discuss how the principle of job design and reinforcement theory apply to the performance problems at the Hovey and Beard Company
The process of making a decision regarding tasks and authority of individual employees is known as job design. It is the role of company managers to determine the roles and responsibilities of each employee. The methodology of executing a particular task should also be decided by managers.
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Moreover, managers should be in a position to understand the nature of their employees especially in terms of ability at workplace. Job design assists job seekers to understand the requirements of each job even before they apply for respective positions. The reward system is also included in a job design theory. In the overall, job design assists organizations to hire the most suitable employees in different departments (Keynes, 2007).
On the other hand, the reinforcement theory largely deals with curbing the impacts of certain behavioral patterns. Any form of behavior that an organization does not desire can be dealt with through punishment or reinforcement. The latter explains the situation at the Hovey and Beard Company when the management agreed to implement the learning bonus as well as the reward system based on performance. Employees are motivated by this method. Therefore, the behavior of painters was shaped through the reinforcement theory and the job design criteria that was provided to them earlier (Gareth, 2004).
Before the changes were implemented, the painters were too slow in the process of managing the hooks. Some hooks were even going empty. Hence, there was need to influence their behavior by injecting changes at the place of work. The poor calculation of the incentives was corrected.
Analyze the performance problems using the performance diagnosis model
According to the performance diagnosis model, it is vital to determine whether the boss and the subordinates agree on the need to improve performance at workplace. This was the case with the painters at the Hovey and Beard Company. The workers clearly understood that improved performance would directly lead to better earnings through bonuses. The management was also keen in ensuring that the painters were performing with the set speed of the hooks.
Second, inadequate subordinate ability was not the actual cause of the problem. The painters were indeed ready to go through the learning phase as agreed by the management (Hatch, 2000). The problem mainly emanated from inadequate subordinate motivation. For example, poor ventilation and a messy workplace environment was the main source of complain from the painters. A decent workplace would indeed motivate them (Cascio, 2006).
When the supervisor and the company superintendent eventually opted to harmonize the pay of all the employees at the Hovey and Beard Company, the volume of production significantly declined. Some painters left the organization (Harold & Heinz, 2006. Hence, the lack of motivation was linked to the failure by the management to reward performance based on the individual inputs in the company.
Harmonizing the pay rates across all the employees led to poor distribution of the reward system that the painters had agreed with the management of the company. Therefore, it can be concluded that the above is an incentive problem. Since the painters started earning more than other workers in the company, the management of the company saw the need to harmonize the pay. Rationalizing the pay led to dissatisfaction of the painters and subsequent drop in the production process (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
Bolman, G & Deal, T.E (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Cascio, W. (2006). Managing human resources: productivity, quality of work life, profits. Boston: McGraw Hill.
Gareth, J. (2004). Essentials of contemporary management. New York: Sage.
Harold, K. & Heinz, W. (2006). Essentials Of Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Hatch, M. (2000). The cultural dynamics of organizing and change. New York: Sage.
Keynes, M. K. (2007). The general theory of employment, interest, and money, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.