Design of jobs: selected readings; (Penguin education) by Louis E Davis

By Louis E Davis

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Phase B marks the complete disappearance of the natural environment, while with phase C there is permanently installed a system where work is completely deter· mined by technology. & Social does notsufficiently clarify what is meant in regard to the problem of work because of the many different ways this word is used. One cannot draw any inferences in favor of the new factor or as to its particular value. It is necessary to analyze the relations which exist between different forms of social participation-human relations in the enterprise, level and type of consumption, participation in the social order, family life, etc.

It is becoming increasingly ipparent that flexibility in this sense is much more than a simple distinction between man and machine. Man may be inflexible, machines may be flexible - or vice versa. Under some conditions, it may be highly desirable to limit the range of operating unit flexibility to insure reliability and predictability of system performance. Under other conditions, the reverse may be true. Thus, in B. F. as seen by Its destgner, an expertmental psychologiSt named Frazter. The behavior of these units (people) is highly reliable, although no one has attempted to specify the Situations in which they are to perform.

This, in a material, is unforgivable. Any system utilizing them must devise appropriate safeguards. ] A 'good' or •effective' operating unit is one that has 'adjusted' to its environment. It accepts the environmental conditions postulated by its system designer as a •given', and it does what its structure permits it to do. The central difficulty that arises lies in the definition of 'environment'. A 'bad' thermonuclear weapon would be one that exploded before some 'responsible' human being 'pressed the button', or because it simply 'felt' like explod- 44 Evolution of dob Designs In Industrial Society ing.

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