On Job Rotation
A 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.
|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: |
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994.
"The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge,"
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm," Economic Journal, 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.
- Aoki, Masahiko, 1986. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 971-83, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- Miyazaki Hajime, 1993. "Employeeism, Corporate Governance, and the J-Firm," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 443-469, June.
- 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.
- Miyazaki, H., 1993. "Employeeism, Corporate Governance and the J-Firm," ISER Discussion Paper 0295, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
- Minkler, Alanson P., 1993. "Knowledge and internal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-30, May.
- 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.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:1998-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Francis Ahking)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.