On Job Rotation
AbstractA fundamental principle of economics with which Adam Smith begins The Wealth of Nations is the division of labor. Some firms, however, have been pursuing a practice called job rotation, which assigns each worker not to a single and specific task but to a set of several tasks among which he or she rotates with some frequency. We examine the practice of job rotation as a serious alternative to specialization, with three objectives. The first is to consider current and historical examples of job rotation, in addition to those in Japanese firms, in order to examine the variety of contexts in which job rotation has been practiced. Second, we develop a simple model of work organization in order to examine the cost and benefits of job rotation and to identify factors that make it the preferred organization of work. Extending the model in light of the available evidence, we critically examine the previous explanations of job rotation and identify some of the other, previously unnoticed, benefits such as reduced possibilities of shirking because of peer pressure. As a third objective, we evaluate the benefits of job rotation with respect to the organizational form of firms, particularly remuneration schemes and worker participation in decision making.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 1998-02.
Date of creation: Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, June 1999, 155(2): 301-20.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972.
"Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
- Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Becker, G.S. & Murphy, K.M., 1991.
"The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge,"
University of Chicago - Economics Research Center
92-5, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1137-60, November.
- Gary S. Murphy Becker & Kevin M., 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 79, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Metin M. Cosgel & John E. Murray, 1997. "Productivity of a Commune: The Shakers, 1850-80," Working papers 1997-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993.
"Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 142-60, January.
- Carmichael, H.L. & Macleod, W.B., 1991. "Multiskilling, Technical Change And The Japanese Firm," Cahiers de recherche 9112, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Carmichael, H.L. & Macleod, W.B., 1991. "Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm," Cahiers de recherche 9112, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
- Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992.
"Peer Pressure and Partnerships,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Pagano, Ugo, 1991. "Property Rights, Asset Specificity, and the Division of Labour under Alternative Capitalist Relations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 315-42, September.
- Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
- Aoki, Masahiko, 1990. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
- Menachem Rosner & Louis Putterman, 1991. "Factors behind the Supply and Demand for Less Alienating Work, and Some International Illustrations," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 18(1), pages 18-41, January.
- repec:fth:osakae:295 is not listed on IDEAS
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
- Minkler, Alanson P., 1993. "Knowledge and internal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-30, May.
- Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
- Miyazaki Hajime, 1993. "Employeeism, Corporate Governance, and the J-Firm," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 443-469, June.
- Miyazaki, H., 1993. "Employeeism, Corporate Governance and the J-Firm," ISER Discussion Paper 0295, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kasey Kniffin).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.