Open Access Dissertation
Industrial management--Employee participation; Job enrichment; Computer integrated manufacturing systems;
Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) has been seen as the answer to maintaining the lead in American productivity. The cell operator was seen as being critical to the success of CIM. The design of the operator's job was seen as very important. As manufacturing engineers design cell jobs, including the roles and tasks, with the operators, it was believed important for the engineer to know what motivated the cell operator. However, past studies of supervisors and their subordinates have shown that supervisors are unable to predict the importance of the elements of job enrichment of the subordinates. It was questioned whether the engineers could predict the level of desire for elements of job enrichment of the cell operators.
The problems of this study were (a) determining the elements of job enrichment and their level of importance to the cell operators, (b) determining the predictions of engineers of the importance of the elements of job enrichment for cell operators, and (c) determining if there were significant differences between the views of operators and engineers of the elements of job enrichment of the cell operator. The purposes of this study were (a) to establish and information base on elements of job enrichment for the cell operator and (b) to strongly encourage the engineers who design cell operator jobs to consider motivation information in job design.
Samples of cell operators and manufacturing engineers were surveyed by mail simultaneously using a revised Job Diagnostic Survey (RJDS) and a revised Job Rating Form (RJRF). It was found that engineers had a significant inability to predict the level of desire association with 9 of the 11 potential elements of job enrichment (p < .01 for seven items, p < .02 for one item, and p < .05 for one item). In comparing responses of both groups, no significant difference was found for "high respect and fair treatment from the supervisor" and "great job security." Importantly, the would like growth need strength, one measure of a worker's state of mind which affects productivity, was found to be significantly different (p < .01) between the views provided by engineers and operators. The predictions of core job characteristics of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job itself were rated similarly by operators and engineers. Also, the Motivating Potential Score (MPS) was found to be significantly different (p < .01)between the predictions of the groups. the MPS is a measure of the ability of a job to support the efforts of a motivated worker. The apparent inconsistencies between engineers being able to predict core job characteristics while being unable to predict would like growth need strength and motivating potential score was attributed to two study resultants. One resultant was the engineers' appreciation of the role of motivation in the cell operator's job and the second resultant was the engineers do not appreciate their roles in facilitating motivation through job enrichment in job design.
It was concluded that the engineers as a group need to obtain the help of job enrichment and motivation specialists to design work while they simultaneously should pursue a better understanding of the role of motivation to the worker. Although the engineers' predictions were complementary of the cell operators, the high scale responses and the high degree of cohesiveness of the cell operators in selecting the responses as a group provided the significant differences. Also, the operators' results indicated that it is likely that incorporating enrichment factors into job design would contribute to increased productivity.
Year of Submission
Doctor of Industrial Technology
Department of Industrial Technology
Ervin A. Dennis, Advisor
Douglas T. Pine, Co-Advisor
1 PDF file (xvi, 235 pages)
©1991 David Leonard Gobeski
Gobeski, David Leonard, "Toward the optimization of cell operator productivity in computer integrated manufacturing" (1991). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 829.