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Job Design for Learning in Groups
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 19, no 5, 269-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: What does it take in job design and production planning, if it is to result in a work group taking a self-starting approach and going beyond what is formally required of it? Our aim is to contribute to group research by testing a theoretical model of relations between on the one hand Job Design (1), captured as a) Completeness, b) Demand on Responsibility, c) Demand on Cooperation, d) Cognitive Demand e) Learning Opportunities, and on the other hand (2), Reflexivity and Learning Processes within natural work groups in industry.

Methodology: The results are based on detailed task analyses and questionnaires to 40 work groups on the shop-floor level in the manufacturing industry in Sweden.

Findings: Job Design and Work Routines show strong effects on Reflexivity and Learning Processes. Four dimensions of Job Design, Completeness, Demand on Cooperation, Cognitive Demand and Learning Opportunities, impact on Reflexivity and Learning Processes. Job Design correlates with Social Routines, and Social Routines with Work Routines.

Practical implications: It is crucial to create a job design that puts challenging demands on the group if group processes are to be characterized by reflexivity and learning. Managers have a challenging task to provide both a space and a climate that supports reflexivity and learning. All functions affected by production planning need to be involved in job design to balance conflicts between productivity and innovation.

Originality/value: Detailed task analysis is worthwhile as it captures aspects that are prerequisites for innovative groups not previously accounted for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 19, no 5, 269-285 p.
Keyword [en]
Group Work, Job Design, Workplace learning, Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14626OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-14626DiVA: diva2:42397
Available from: 2008-01-31 Created: 2008-01-31 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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