Work Strategies: The Development and Testing of a Model.
Technical note Jul 82-Mar 86,
NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER SAN DIEGO CA HUMAN FACTORS AND ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS LAB
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Work strategy refers to the plans and methods that workers use to do the tasks which are required by a job e.g., scheduling rest periods, pacing the work, setting goals, and is a potentially powerful variable within the work environment. Research to date on work strategy suggests that a taxonomy of work strategies and a determination of the relationships between them and other work variables e.g., ability can add much to our understanding of worker productivity and motivation. A model of work strategy was developed which proposed several theoretical relationships between work strategy and other important work variables. A empirical investigation into some of the relationships suggested by the conceptual model was also conducted which involved 128 people employed to perform a data coding task in a simulated work environment. Work strategy was defined here as the length and frequency of rest periods taken by workers. The relationship of rest periods to task performance as well as to the workers ability and choice of performance goals was explored. Results showed that there was a negative relationship between rest periods and task performance as well as between rest periods and goals. Contrary to other research, there was not an optimal rest period which balanced relief from fatigue against time away from the task. Rest periods can serve as a useful measure of work strategy, but other measures, such as pace of work, should be tested as well as other relationships between work strategies and work variables. Wage incentive and goal setting programs should be implemented in a variety of organizations to study work strategy and productivity.
- Administration and Management
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations