Unlike job specialization   , which seeks to improve productivity by assigning fewer tasks to each job,job enlargement   places more tasks in each job.

Read the Management at Work article. Then use your knowledge of job specialization to answer the questions.

Management at Work: Job Specialization at Ancestry.com

Researching your family history has become easier than ever thanks to companies like Ancestry, but to develop detailed family trees, human labor is still required. In fact, Ancestry employs more than 1,700 employees worldwide. In addition to employees focused on software, data storage, and data science, the organization needs people to handle content acquisition and management; indexing, analyzing, and transcribing historical records; digitizing documents; sourcing information; data entry; analyzing DNA results; and communicating to clients and the public about genealogy, such as by developing tutorials.

Consider, for instance, Crista Cowan, a professional genealogist at Ancestry.com. She said, “As a genealogist, I spend the majority of my time researching, both online and offline in libraries, archives, and courthouses that hold documents yet to be digitized and placed online. I also spend time analyzing and transcribing records and crafting source citations. Numerous hours also go into resolving conflicting evidence, writing up conclusions, and entering data into the family tree software, which naturally leads to further research. . . . Additional hours are spent in analyzing DNA results and working with matches to determine the validity of the research paper trail and helping people to locate biological family members.”

The field of genealogists is both broad and deep. Professional genealogists tend to specialize in specific geographic areas, time periods, or types of research. Crista explained, “My specialties are Jewish immigration into the United States, autosomal DNA match analysis for identifying biological family, and descendancy research (working down the tree identifying descendants of a particular ancestor as opposed to working up the tree identifying ancestors of a particular individual). I have colleagues who specialize . . . in Native American research or colonial U.S. research.”

Sources: Ancestry Corporate. Company facts. Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/about-ancestry/company-facts/; Orin, A. (2015, June 16). Career spotlight: What I do as a genealogist. Lifehacker. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/career-spotlight-what-i-do-as-a-genealogist-1711464950

As described in the article, based on the breadth of tasks fulfilled by genealogists at Ancestry, which alternative to job specialization has likely been used in job design to overcome the problems associated with overly specialized jobs?

Job enlargement

Job enrichment

Work teams

Job rotation

Ancestry asks you if it could use job enlargement, which would enable the company to use fewer employees to accomplish the same tasks. Which reason would you give if you advised the company against job enlargement?

Employees prefer highly specialized jobs.

Job enlargement is more complicated to implement than job enrichment.

Job enlargement requires employees to use fewer skills than job enrichment.

Employees may feel they should be paid more because they are doing more tasks.

You’ve decided that the best way to redesign the genealogist job at Ancestry is to take the job characteristics approach. Which management action would you advise as part of a job enrichment approach to increase motivation and productivity?

Communicate the importance of the tasks performed to increase task significance

Increase each employee’s autonomy so they feel they have more control over how the work is performed

Assign genealogists to work on projects from beginning to end

Give the genealogists feedback on their performance at the end of each project

Injob rotation   , jobs stay the same but employees do different jobs at different times; inwork teams   , employees decide together how to assign and schedule tasks.

Read the Management at Work article. Then use your knowledge of job specialization to answer the questions.

Management at Work: Job Specialization at Ancestry.com

Researching your family history has become easier than ever thanks to companies like Ancestry, but to develop detailed family trees, human labor is still required. In fact, Ancestry employs more than 1,700 employees worldwide. In addition to employees focused on software, data storage, and data science, the organization needs people to handle content acquisition and management; indexing, analyzing, and transcribing historical records; digitizing documents; sourcing information; data entry; analyzing DNA results; and communicating to clients and the public about genealogy, such as by developing tutorials.

Consider, for instance, Crista Cowan, a professional genealogist at Ancestry.com. She said, “As a genealogist, I spend the majority of my time researching, both online and offline in libraries, archives, and courthouses that hold documents yet to be digitized and placed online. I also spend time analyzing and transcribing records and crafting source citations. Numerous hours also go into resolving conflicting evidence, writing up conclusions, and entering data into the family tree software, which naturally leads to further research. . . . Additional hours are spent in analyzing DNA results and working with matches to determine the validity of the research paper trail and helping people to locate biological family members.”

The field of genealogists is both broad and deep. Professional genealogists tend to specialize in specific geographic areas, time periods, or types of research. Crista explained, “My specialties are Jewish immigration into the United States, autosomal DNA match analysis for identifying biological family, and descendancy research (working down the tree identifying descendants of a particular ancestor as opposed to working up the tree identifying ancestors of a particular individual). I have colleagues who specialize . . . in Native American research or colonial U.S. research.”

Sources: Ancestry Corporate. Company facts. Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/about-ancestry/company-facts/; Orin, A. (2015, June 16). Career spotlight: What I do as a genealogist. Lifehacker. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/career-spotlight-what-i-do-as-a-genealogist-1711464950

According to the article, many genealogists specialize in certain areas. As a consultant hired by Ancestry to address job design, which area of concern should you highlight for managers of these specialized genealogists?

Cost of training replacement genealogists

Genealogists finding the work monotonous

Genealogists developing emotional attachment to the families they research

Genealogists’ degree of proficiency in the job

As a job design consultant, you suggest that Ancestry seek to enrich the jobs of the genealogists. Which of the following suggestions would result in job enrichment?

The genealogists could learn to analyze and enter data in one unified step.

Genealogists such as Crista could determine for themselves when the ancestral trail warranted the acquisition of additional data from external sources.

The genealogists with the best performance could be awarded the opportunity to work on the more interesting family histories.

The genealogical staff could be divided into those who focus on digital records and those who deal with traditional records.

You’ve decided that the best way to redesign the genealogist job at Ancestry is to take the job characteristics approach. Which step will you take to increase the ownership employees feel of the final result when they help someone research their family tree?

Communicate the importance of the tasks performed to increase task significance

Assign genealogists to work on projects from beginning to end

Give the genealogists feedback on their performance at the end of each project

Increase each employee’s autonomy so they feel they have more control over how the work is performed

 

When an organization gives its employees a broader range of tasks and more autonomy to decide how to do the work, it is usingjob enrichment   ; these changes are also part ofthe job characteristics   approach, which involves not only skill variety and autonomy but also task identity, task significance, and feedback.

Read the Management at Work article. Then use your knowledge of job specialization to answer the questions.

Management at Work: Job Specialization at Ancestry.com

Researching your family history has become easier than ever thanks to companies like Ancestry, but to develop detailed family trees, human labor is still required. In fact, Ancestry employs more than 1,700 employees worldwide. In addition to employees focused on software, data storage, and data science, the organization needs people to handle content acquisition and management; indexing, analyzing, and transcribing historical records; digitizing documents; sourcing information; data entry; analyzing DNA results; and communicating to clients and the public about genealogy, such as by developing tutorials.

Consider, for instance, Crista Cowan, a professional genealogist at Ancestry.com. She said, “As a genealogist, I spend the majority of my time researching, both online and offline in libraries, archives, and courthouses that hold documents yet to be digitized and placed online. I also spend time analyzing and transcribing records and crafting source citations. Numerous hours also go into resolving conflicting evidence, writing up conclusions, and entering data into the family tree software, which naturally leads to further research. . . . Additional hours are spent in analyzing DNA results and working with matches to determine the validity of the research paper trail and helping people to locate biological family members.”

The field of genealogists is both broad and deep. Professional genealogists tend to specialize in specific geographic areas, time periods, or types of research. Crista explained, “My specialties are Jewish immigration into the United States, autosomal DNA match analysis for identifying biological family, and descendancy research (working down the tree identifying descendants of a particular ancestor as opposed to working up the tree identifying ancestors of a particular individual). I have colleagues who specialize . . . in Native American research or colonial U.S. research.”

Sources: Ancestry Corporate. Company facts. Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/about-ancestry/company-facts/; Orin, A. (2015, June 16). Career spotlight: What I do as a genealogist. Lifehacker. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/career-spotlight-what-i-do-as-a-genealogist-1711464950

At Ancestry, even in a job as seemingly specialized as that of genealogist, the component parts of the job are quite varied. If Ancestry asked you to advise the company on restructuring job design, how would you explain a recommendation for further specialization?

When workers perform small, simple tasks, they become very proficient at each task.

The workers in highly specialized jobs tend to report higher levels of job satisfaction.

Specialization increases the transfer time between tasks.

Highly specialized workers may feel their jobs are too stimulating.

In your role as management consultant at Ancestry, you’ve been asked to develop a plan that will enable the organization to utilize job rotation in some job designs. What do you recommend as a necessary step?

Count the number of tasks each employee does in the original job

Cross-train the employees on the other jobs that could fall in their rotation

Measure absenteeism

Assess the amount of autonomy each employee has

You’ve decided that the best way to redesign the genealogist job at Ancestry is to take the job characteristics approach. Which step will you take to increase employees’ perception of how valued their work is?

Communicate the importance of the tasks performed to increase task significance

Publicize which genealogists were involved in which completed historical projects so the employees feel they identify with the total job

Increase each employee’s autonomy so they feel they have more control over how the work is performed

Give the genealogists feedback on their performance at the end of each project

 

Which form of departmentalization is best if the company seeks to minimize duplication of efforts?

Product

Location

Customer

Function

Which advantage would you cite if you were advising a company to group jobs by type of customer?

Tailoring services to meet customer needs is easier.

Coordinating activities across functional specialties is more cost effective.

Employees use a wide variety of skills to serve customers with different needs.

Accountability for overall product performance is increased.

Now think about span of management as you answer this question.

The owner of the business where you work has asked for your advice on restructuring the organization. You know that customer service is the cornerstone of the company. What do you recommend?

Flatter structures are appropriate for organizations that empower employees to solve customer problems.

With a tall structure, supervisors can avoid hearing about customer complaints.

A taller structure will improve the speed at which decisions are implemented.

A flatter structure will further centralize decision making.

 

 

Which form of departmentalization is best if the company services both business clients and end consumers?

Function

Location

Product

Customer

Which advantage would you cite if you were advising a company to group jobs by product?

The organization can respond to unique regional concerns.

There will be decreased requirements for physical space.

Assessment of department performance is easier.

Coordinating activities across functional specialties is more cost effective.

Now think about span of management as you answer this question.

The owner of the business where you work has asked you to identify ways to help the organization react faster to environmental changes. What do you recommend?

A taller structure will improve the speed at which decisions are implemented.

Flatter structures lessen bureaucratic red tape, improving the speed of decision making.

A taller structure will decrease administrative costs.

A flatter structure will further centralize decision making.