Organizational Choice in Work Design
In designing manufacturing systems, most engineers are aware that they are also involved in organizational design. However, for many engineers the assumption made about people in work systems is implicit and their experience in industry is of technically determined task structures within a hierarchical organization. Thus, the possibility of organizational choice is not very apparent. In response to this situation, a method of training engineers in work organization has been developed which employs action learning. Students are actually able to experience and manipulate different forms of work organization and enter into the process of redesign. The simulation is used as an integral component of an introductory course on work organization, and is very rich in the amount of data that it produces; more data can be collected on the performance of the production system and operator behaviour and attitude than would be possible in a real life organization. Differences in performance between different forms of work organization are repeatedly obtained with different groups of students. Measures also show that students perceive and feel significant differences between the different forms of work organization they experience. Action simulation of a work system appears to be a very powerful way of preparing people to investigate possibilities and alternative solutions to work system design problems.
KeywordsWork System Organizational Design Work Organization Work Design Action Simulation
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