Work Redesign and Its Influence on Employee Motivation and Job Satisfaction

John Koscielniak, Western Kentucky University


Reengineering and work redesign have become the buzzwords of the healthcare industry giving rise to the unprecedented growth of reengineering / work redesign consultants who offer cookbook methods to make the organization efficient and reduce costs. The unfortunate consequence of this rush to redesign is that the employer accepts recommendations to change the organization without knowing the state of the workforce. The purpose of this research is to test the effects of work redesign as implemented at two for-profit hospitals using a measurement tool developed specifically for work redesign. The intent is to compare the hospitals separately as each work redesign initiative is unique to each entity. Observations and analysis are made based upon each hospital's experience from both a pretest and posttest measure. It is believed that each hospital will provide unique information regarding their initiative regardless of success or failure. According to the Job Diagnostics Survey (JDS), the measurement tool used both pretest and posttest, Hospital A required a work redesign initiative. Several variables indicated that the hospital's employees were not satisfied with their job, were in need of internal motivation, and were identified as responsive to job growth. The results from Hospital B however, suggested that a work redesign initiative was not required, but rather a change in organizational culture was needed. Posttest results indicated that there was adequate veracity to the assumptions made regarding the two initiatives as Hospital A's posttests results showed overall improvement in JDS scores while Hospital B's posttest results were similar to their pretest results. Statistically, the results did not show any significance pretest to posttest. The need for valued research cannot be emphasized enough, especially in a healthcare organization. The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations places great emphasis on a hospital's performance improvement initiative - its plan, the plan's implementation and the measurement of outcomes. Hospitals therefore, should also measure the outcomes of work redesign initiatives and these outcomes should be measured in both human terms and in economic terms.