Question Lisa Business & Management

How do changes in Labour Market impact job design

How do changes in Labour Market impact job design

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The labour market and job design are interdependent; jobs can only be filled by the available labour market, which includes new entrants and existing workers (Nellis & Parker, 2006). For employers to fill jobs, they need access to labour with the requisite skills/knowledge. If labour pools changes result in insufficient employees with required skills, jobs will remain unfilled. Changes may include shifts in skills and knowledge of available workers, as well as variations in personal characteristics, such as gender and linguistic skills in cases of immigration (Docquier, Ozden, & Peri, 2014). This requires potential redesign of jobs, so they may be filled with accessible labour; either changing the skills specification so it may be filled by those available, or making the job more attractive if the issue is a shortage of the skills, or those willing to train, in a competitive market. Job design relates not only to the task, such as car mechanics fixing vehicles, but the way the jobs are undertaken, with characteristics such as autonomy, variety, and feedback (Osterman, 2010). If the skills of the workforce change, the job may need to be redesigned from a practical perspective, to accurate the new situation, such as providing more training, with a greater level of oversight, and less autonomy (Michie, 2004), or breaking tasks down requiring less knowledge (Mortensen, Doherty, & Robinson, 2015). Likewise, less direct task related aspects may need to be addressed to attract employees (Michie, 2004). When seeking and accepting a job, workers will assess the effort and requirements as part of a trade-off for the benefits they gain (Osterman, 2010). The redesign may need to address these benefits, providing higher levels of support and motivation to attract workers. Job redesign is therefore an ongoing process, as the labour market is always changing.


Docquier, F., Ozden, C., & Peri, G. (2014). The Labour Market Effects of Immigration and Emigration in OECD Countries. The Economic Journal, 124(579), 1106–1145.
Michie, J. (2004). Employment And Economic Performance: Jobs, Inflation, and Growth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mortensen, M., Doherty, N., & Robinson, S. (2015). Operational research from Taylorism to Terabytes: A research agenda for the analytics age. European Journal of Operational Research, 241(3), 204–235.
Nellis, J. G., & Parker, D. (2006). Principles of the Business Economics. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Osterman, P. (2010). Job design in the context of the job market. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3), 401–411.