• Carole Katz

An Online Tool to Gauge Work Design


From Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, May 1, 2017

Earlier this month, Dina Gerdeman, senior writer for Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, wrote about how an employee's poor performance could be related to his or her poorly designed job. In discussing how the quality of the design of a job could be gauged, Dina introduced an online tool that could be helpful to both managers and employees.


The "Job Design Optimization Tool", as introduced in this article, was developed by Robert Simons, the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. This online tool "allows companies to plug in information about a particular job to test whether the person in that role is getting the right mix of responsibility and support from the organization".

Specifically, this tool evaluates the design of a job based on four dimensions: span of control, span of accountability, span of influence, and span of support. The analyzing logic of this tool is that when there is an imbalance between the supply of resources (indicated as the sum of "span of control" and "span of support") and the demand of resources (indicated as the sum of "span of accountability" and "span of influence"), a job is deemed as poorly designed. Here's a screenshot roughly showing how this online tool works:


An exciting feature of this online tool is that it's free! For more information about this work design optimization tool, click here to read the article and have a little try with the tool.


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