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Enhancing Productivity through Feedback and Job Design.
Final rept. 1 Oct 76-31 Dec 77,
PURDUE RESEARCH FOUNDATION LAFAYETTE IND
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This research represents a study in a program to investigate potential sources of the intrinsic motivation of Air Force personnel. The first step in this process was an attempt to identify and list a number of sources of intrinsic motivation. From this list, feedback and job design were selected as sources that held promise for use in Air Force type settings. This report describes an attempt to manipulate several dimensions of feedback and the degree to which a person did a complete unit of work. A job simulation was employed to experimentally test the variables finally selected. The criteria for the task used in the simulation were that it have generalizability to the Air Force and that it possess acceptable face validity for the subjects participating in the study. The task used in this study involved the processing of purchase requisitions and was designed so that subjects believed they were working on a real job and so that there was distinct quantity and quality dimensions that could be measured. The results of the study indicated that feedback has great potential for improving productivity. However, different types of feedback had markedly different effects. The best type of feedback in this study was Impersonal, High Specificity, Individual feedback in either the Public or Private format. This combination of feedback resulted in a 26 increase in quantity and a 27 decrease in errors. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE