An analysis of tasks performed by low-ability office employees as viewed by office supervisory personnel in Alberta, Canada Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dr26z077d

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  • The Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to identify the tasks performed by low-ability office employees as viewed by office supervisory personnel, and, also, to analyze these tasks. The study was conducted in Alberta, Canada. To analyze tasks performed by low-ability office employees, it was necessary to identify: 1. Tasks being performed by low-ability office employees 2. Skills required to perform low-ability tasks 3. Equipment and machinery operated by low-ability office employees 4. Tasks low-ability office employees might perform if provided with additional training 5. Skills required to increase the employability of low-ability persons 6. Unattractiveness of low-ability tasks 7. Opportunities for advancement in low-ability office tasks 8. Opportunities for decision making in low-ability tasks 9. Tasks performed more efficiently by low-ability office employees Procedures An instrument was designed to obtain the data for this study from office supervisory personnel employed by member firms of the Administrative Management Society. Data were collected in a structured-interview format from thirty different organizations in Edmonton and Calgary each, making a total population of sixty respondents. The data were organized according to frequency distribution. Suearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient was used to analyze the data. Conclusions 1. Low-ability office employees perform 60 different tasks in the firms surveyed. These tasks are distinguished by: being mastered in a very short time; involving simple, repetitive manipulations or movements; and, generally being done without cooperation or communication to other employees. The most common task performed by low-ability office employees is operating the photocopier. A greater variety of low-ability tasks exists in larger offices than in smaller offices. 2. Low-ability tasks are performed by both low-ability and higher ability office employees. Seven office tasks are performed better (in terms of productivity, efficiency, and amount of resistance) by low-ability employees. Employers prefer to hire low-ability persons for these tasks. 3. Low-ability persons have very limited opportunities for advancement. None of the more frequently performed tasks offers the low-ability office employee an opportunity to advance. 4. Low-ability tasks are unattractive to office supervisory personnel. The most unattractive tasks involve simple, repetitive hand motions, such as operating the photocopier, typing from copy, refiling cards, and stamping and sealing envelopes. Employers prefer to hire low-ability persons to perform unattractive low-ability tasks. 5. Low-ability office employees operate 28 different pieces of machinery or equipment. The most common piece of equipment used by low-ability office employees is the electric typewriter, followed by the photocopier. Low-ability employees in larger offices operate more equipment and machinery and are more specialized than low-ability office employees in smaller offices. 6. Office employees require 55 different skills to perform the low-ability tasks in an office. Approximately one half of these skills can be learned or developed in the classroom, while many of the others relate to physical and personal characteristics. A low-ability person with severe physical handicaps is not employable in the office; however, a high-ability person with similar physical handicaps may be profitably employed in the office. 7. Low-ability persons cannot complete high-ability tasks, nor can they perform a variety of low-ability tasks. This reduces the opportunities for employment of low-ability persons, for they can only be hired by organizations having positions consisting purely of low-ability tasks related to one activity, such as filing, duplicating, or delivering messages.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-10-21T18:13:37Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 RenczDonaldS1978.pdf: 810032 bytes, checksum: 973ad83cd3b619bf96e9db87953ff261 (MD5)
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