work organization

work organization

the distribution and coordination of work tasks, skills and authority in an ORGANIZATION. Work organization is the way that tasks are distributed amongst the individuals in an organization and the ways in which these are then coordinated to achieve the final product or service. For instance, in a school the work organization comprises those workers providing tuition, secretarial staff giving administrative support and ancillary workers, such as the caretaker, who ensure that the facilities are ready for teaching to take place. These activities are coordinated in part by staff meetings, in part by the headteachers and their assistants. An alternative form of work organization would be where teachers also undertake some secretarial and ancillary tasks.

Some modes of work organization may be more efficient in terms of labour utilization than others. The quality of work organization may thus have an important impact on the performance of the organization. Work organization may be determined by a number of factors:

  1. the nature of the technology used (in turn influenced by the nature of the product or service). Assembly-line technology, for instance, tends to discourage group working and to encourage a pattern of work organization where each worker does a single repetitive task;
  2. managerial choice. Technology may potentially be used in a number of ways (see SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEM) according to managerial objectives. Managerial competence is also important. Poor knowledge of production management may lead to inefficient work organization;
  3. workforce aspirations. Groups of workers are often able to modify informally the way that work is done and the way that tasks are distributed among them.

In addition TRADE UNIONS or SHOP STEWARDS may regulate the way work is organized, either unilaterally (see DEMARCATION LINE, RESTRICTIVE LABOUR PRACTICE), or jointly with management (see COLLECTIVE BARGAINING).

Many commentators believe that much of the UK's economic difficulties in recent decades are due to inefficient patterns of work organization. These are variously attributed to a failure to invest sufficiently in new technology, ‘over-mighty’ unions, poor management etc. There is a growing recognition that the managerial approach to work organization should be more rigorous and strategic than in the past (see JAPANIZATION). Many also believe that greater task scope should be given to MANUAL WORKERS, supported by improved TRAINING. Operators of sophisticated equipment should be given the opportunity to program or maintain it. As well as improving JOB SATISFACTION this would lead to better standards of work. See JOB DESIGN AND REDESIGN, SOCIOLOGY OF WORK.

References in periodicals archive ?
This is the result of good work organization, high level of production.
The FC spokesman said that arrested suspects were involved in attack at security forces, the convoy of Frontier Work Organization (FWO) and the citizens in the area.
Summary: The training and development administration of the Arabian Gulf Oil Company concluded the training programme for the graduates of Petroleum Institute and Qualitative Center in the fields of methods of work organization in the company; the event took place in the Mechanic Engineering Technology College between 15 -- 25 January 2012.
A work organization needs to be prepared also to let go of its earlier solutions when they become outdated from the point of view of prevailing operational conditions (the dissipation principle of sustainability).
Confusion dominates in the biggest work organization, says Maja Tomik from Utrinski vesnik when analyzing the situation prior to the election of the new president of SSM (Federation of Trade Unions).
Head of the Lebanese-Belgium Work Organization, Chancellor Hikmat Nasser has successfully remobilized through many meetings and collaborations with Middle East Airlines the direct airway route between Beirut and Brussels.
By targeting the workplace and acknowledging the significance of work in people's lives, they ably argue that social work is uniquely qualified to further work organization and employee personal goals.
Also studied are emergency workers, the use of groups in lessening trauma, disasters in an international context, how trauma affects the therapists, the psychological impact of work organization, and the family-work interface, and the dimension of fear.
The NIOSH job stress research program aims to better understand the influence of what are commonly termed work organization or psychosocial factors on stress, illness and injury.
Baines study of three agencies, Improving Work Organization to Reduce Injury and Illness: Social Services, Stress, Violence and Workload, notes that restructuring in developmental service agencies has not only increased workloads and subsequent health risks for employees but has also "exposed workers and clients to higher levels of stress and violence.
Rather than concluding that work has become more routinized and set within a regimented bureaucratic context, these authors point to the increasing complexity of work and to the growing popularity of the empowered work organization in which, they suggest, the complexity of work has loosened the formality associated with regimented work contexts.