Origins of Job Enrichment
Job Enrichment is a “vertical" enlargement of job duties, providing the employee with tasks and responsibilities normally done by a senior employee or supervisor, and usually comes with more freedom and control over the planning, execution, and evaluation of job tasks.
The rationale behind job enrichment is to motivate employees. The traditional practice of specialization, or division of labor, dividing work into many components, and assigning each component to a separate worker results in employee boredom, and consequently loss of efficiency, and low productivity. The earliest approach to relieve such boredom was job rotation and job enlargement. Such concepts however did not have any backing from psychological studies. Frederick Herzberg, the noted psychologist, in his 1968 article, "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?" advocated enhancing individual jobs and responsibilities to make them more inspiring and rewarding for the workforce. This became the basis of Job Enrichment, the earliest psychological backed approach to motivating employees at work.
When considering motivational theories and organizational behavior, job enrichment impact on employee motivation comes through adding to the quality of tasks instead of quantity of tasks, and changing the work profile through a behavioral intervention, as opposed to a technical intervention affected by job enlargement.