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Job Standardization and Employee Voice

Job Standardization and Employee Voice

Hsiao-Yen Mao, Chueh-Wei Mao

Volume : 78-2 (2024)

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Abstract

In the realm of ever-changing organizational dynamics, the clash between enhanced production efficiency and the need for employee input is a persistent challenge. This study examines the complex relationship between job standardization and employee voice, shedding light on how these seemingly conflicting goals can coexist or collide.

Using the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory as a lens, the study explores how job standardization shapes employees' role orientation and, consequently, their willingness to express ideas. A three-wave panel survey involving 232 employees reveals the interplay between these factors.

Surprisingly, the findings challenge conventional wisdom. Rather than fostering an environment where employees actively contribute ideas, job standardization appears to narrow their role orientation, limiting their inclination to voice suggestions. The resource conservation argument suggests that job standardization depletes employee resources, compelling them to focus on specific tasks rather than expanding efforts to voice creative ideas.

In doing so, this study shifts the paradigm in understanding employee voice, emphasizing job characteristics as a crucial antecedent. While past research focused on individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors, this study highlights the often-overlooked influence of job standardization.

As organizations grapple with the need for standardized processes to enhance productivity, they inadvertently create a conundrum – stifling the very voice that could lead to further improvements. The study proposes an innovative solution, advocating for a nuanced approach to job standardization. It suggests categorizing job standardization as either discipline-related or job-content-related, considering the importance of employee voice in each context.

As a result, this study enhances our grasp of organizational dynamics by examining the relationship between job standardization and employee voice. It provides practical guidance for organizations to balance efficiency and foster innovation in a standardized work environment.

By navigating organizational change and striving to empower the workforce, individuals can gain valuable insights from this study. Understanding the intricacies of the relationship between job standardization and employee voice is crucial for organizational success in an evolving business landscape.

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