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ASSESSING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JOB DESIGN AND WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES IN CAMEROON

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ASSESSING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JOB DESIGN AND WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Job design is a process that enhances the efficiency of an organization and the productivity of employees by incorporating technical and human factors. It is based on job analysis and aims to improve the design of employment. According to Bohlander & Snell (2019), job design focuses on the alteration, adjustment, and enhancement of job roles to effectively utilize individuals' skills and enhance organisational performance. It is a highly effective strategy for optimizing employee productivity. Additionally, job design effectiveness is a metric that quantifies the extent to which an employee is engaged in their work and assignments. While, Bates (2019) argues that a well-designed job involves engaging employees in work-related tasks, which in turn predicts their output, departmental productivity, and overall organizational performance. However, organizations that are involved in ongoing enhancement or process reengineering may overhaul their workers job roles to eradicate redundant duties or discover more efficient methods of accomplishing work. Nevertheless, job design should enable the attainment of organizational goals and workers productivity. Similarly, the design should acknowledge the abilities and requirements of workers who will be carrying out the task. In the Cameroon, the development of jobs in the past was not deliberate or organised. The customary procedure involved the supervisor or foreman assigning workers to specific tasks and randomly combining these activities into jobs. Consequently, numerous theories and methodologies have been developed about job design. One initial response to the scientific management philosophy, which aimed to match workers with machines, was the attempt of human relations advocates to address the social requirements of workers in the workplace. However, they made minimal efforts to address the actual nature of the work. Nevertheless, as the understanding of human motivation becomes more sophisticated, many contemporary theorists contend that engaging in specialised and simplified work can result in monotony, boredom, and overall dissatisfaction. Consequently, these negative feelings can manifest in various forms of undesirable work behaviour, such as lateness, absenteeism, and frequent job changes. The application of these ideas to job design has resulted in the development of numerous methods aimed at modifying the nature of the job and its structure. This has led to a reversal of the trend towards job specialisation by incorporating a greater variety of tasks and broader responsibilities (Hepworth, 2018). However, in an effort to decrease monotony and thereby enhance job contentment, certain methods of job design have been developed. These strategies encompass job rotation, job enlargement, and job enrichment. In Cameroon, job design is not given as much consideration by employers and policy makers as other components of management, such as leadership or management style, when it comes to influencing workers productivity. Studies conducted in both developed and developing countries consistently demonstrate that job design have a significant impact on employee performance. These findings have been supported by various researchers such as Herzberg (2019), Hackman and Oldham (2018), Parker (2018), Grant (2018), Syarifah and Parker et al. (2017). Regrettably, there has been a scarcity of empirical study undertaken to investigate the relationship between job design and workforce  productivity in Cameroon. The study therefore aims to conduct a survey in order to assess the relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The productivity of employees in telecommunication industry in Douala and Cameroon as a whole has received significant attention, particularly since the reform of the business organization structure (Hepworth, 2018). Both workers and managers are striving to fulfil the needs of consumers and comply with government laws. However, the research conducted by Obiageli, Uzochukwu, and Ngozi (2019) provides evidence that service sector in Cameroon has a deficient work organizational culture. This culture leads to employees purchasing work-leave and taking leave at inappropriate times, resulting in low productivity among workers. However, inefficient productivity results in elevated operational expenses, diminished production levels, and delayed service delivery, ultimately contributing to business failure in both the short and long term. Furthermore, numerous studies have explored the relationship between job design and workforce productivity across various industries. Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model (JCM) posits that job design elements such as task variety, autonomy, feedback, and skill utilization contribute to employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity. Therefore, the present study asserts that implementing suitable work design methodologies and analysis may offer a potential answer to the issues at hand. It is in the light of this, the study seeks to assess the relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Assess the levels of worker’s productivity in telecommunication companies in Cameroon

Examine the impact of job design on worker’s motivation.

Examine the impact of job design on worker’s job performance. 

Determine whether there is a relationship between job design and worker’s productivity.

1.4 Research Questions 

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the level of worker’s productivity in telecommunication companies in Cameroon?

Does job design impact worker’s motivation in telecommunication companies?

Does job design impact worker’s job performance in telecommunication companies?

Is there a relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunication companies in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will help organizations implement interventions to improve job design practices and foster a more productive workforce.  Furthermore, the study's findings will provide valuable guidance for improving recruitment, training, and performance evaluation procedures, therefore guaranteeing that workers possess the essential skills and resources required to carry out their responsibilities proficiently.

 Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the relationship between job design and workforce productivity in telecommunications companies in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will assess the levels of worker’s productivity in telecommunication companies in Cameroon, examine the impact of job design on employee’s motivation and  job performance, and determine whether there is a relationship between job design and worker’s productivity.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to workers in telecommunications companies in Douala, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Workforce productivity: the efficiency and effectiveness with which employees utilize their skills, time, and resources to achieve organizational goals and deliver desired outcomes. 

Job design: the process of structuring, organizing, and defining the tasks, responsibilities, and roles associated with a particular job within an organization. 


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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