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REVIEW OF LITERATURE(QWL) P.S.

Venkateswaran

Review of related literature has been done particularly with a view to locate the possible correlates of the variables studied. For more than two decades a sizable volume of literature has been developed on Quality of Work Life. In India, scholars as well as practitioners of Human Resources Management and Industrial Relation have studied its various aspects and developed a few case studies. However, no comprehensive attempt has been made so far in India, to objectively measure the Quality of Work Life in those specific contexts.

Walton1 (1974) attributes the evolution of Quality of Work Life to various phases in history. Legislations enacted in early twentieth century to protect employees from jobinjury and to eliminate hazardous working conditions, followed by the unionization movement in the 1930s and 1940s were the initial steps in this direction. Emphasis was given to job security, due process at the work place and economic gains for the worker.

The 1950s and the 1960s saw the development of different theories by psychologists proposing a positive relationship between morale and productivity that improved human relations. Attempts at reform to acquire equal employment opportunity and job enrichment schemes also were introduced. Finally in the 1970s the idea of Quality of Work Life was conceived which according to Walton, is broader than these earlier developments and is

Walton

something that must include the values that were at the heart of these earlier reform movements and human needs and aspirations.

Sekharan2 (1985) observes that, historically the concept of Quality of Work Life had originally included only the issues of wages, working hours, and working conditions. However, the concept has now been expanded to include such factors as the extent of workers involvement in the job, their levels of satisfaction with various aspects in the work environment, their perceived job competence, accomplishment on the job etc. According to Keith3 (1989), Quality of Work Life refers to the favorableness or unfavourableness of a job environment for people. The basic purpose in this regard is to develop jobs aiming at Human Resource Development as well as production enhancement.

Gani4 (1993) in his study stated that the core of the Quality of Work Life concept is the value of treating the worker as a human being and emphasizing changes in the sociotechnical system of thorough improvement, in physical and psychological working environment, design and redesign of work practices, hierarchical structure and the production process brought with the active involvement of workers in decision making.

In the words of Kumar and Tripati (1993), Quality of Work Life is a philosophy of management that believes co-operative relationship between employees and managers and also believes that every employee has the ability and right to offer his intelligence and useful inputs into decisions at various levels in the organisations. Quality of Work Life is a
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Sekharan Keith Gani

process to involve employee at every level of the organisations in the decision about their work and workplace. It refers to the intended outcomes of practicing above philosophy and process with improvements in working condition, working environment, working climate or work culture. The process brings ultimate benefit to individual employee as well as to the organisations through individual development and increasing quality and productivity respectively.

As explained by Kumar and Tripathy5 (1993), there are several approaches for achieving Quality of Work Life in organisations, namely job design, workers participation, welfare and quality circles. Quality Circles are one of the ways of involving employees at the bottom level of the organisation in decisions affecting work and work related problems.

A Quality Circle is essentially a small group of employees who meet voluntarily on regular basis to identify, analyse and find solutions to quality problems and other issues in their work-environment. The employees in a Quality Circle can range from four to twelve. The Quality Circles occupy a vital and far more specific role for aiming and achieving Quality of Work Life of workers in organisations.

However, Singh6 (1983) states that, Quality of Work Life is not based on any theory. It is concerned with overall climate of work place. Reduced supervision, increased selfregulation and self-management are pillars of Quality of Work Life.

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Kumar and Tripathy Singh

American Society of Training and Development (1979) presented Quality of Work Life as a process of work organisations, which enables its members at all levels to participate actively and efficiently in shaping the quality of life at work for employees.

Cohen and Rosenthal7 (1980) describes Quality of Work Life as an intentionally designed effort to bring out increased labour management, and cooperation to jointly solve the problem of improving organisational performance and employee satisfaction.

In the opinion of Jain8 (1991), Quality Of Work Life represents a blending of motivational factors of work, socio-technical system etc. which are of very real concerns for human values in todays society with an awareness that all individuals devote the greater part of their mature lives to the work, spending time, energy and physical and mental resources to this endeavor. Moreover, it recognizes that, work is the chief determinant of an individuals freedom, growth and self respect as well as his or her standard of living.

Quality of Work Life denotes the experienced goodness of working in the organisational settings. a) Ideas dealing with a body of knowledge, concepts, experiences related to the nature, meaning, and structure of work; b) Ideas dealing with the nature and process of introducing and managing organisation change; and c) Ideas dealing with outcomes of results of the change process.

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Cohen and Rosenthal Jain

The concept of Quality of Work Life views work as a process of interaction and joint problem solving by working people-managers, supervisors, and workers.

There is a growing recognition that work-environment factors affect health system performance (Graham S Lowe, 2006). Basically, the work environment factors affect the quality of work life, individual quality of work life outcomes, and organizational outcomes. Rice (1985) emphasized the relationship between work satisfaction and Quality of peoples lives. He contended that work experiences and outcomes can affect persons general Quality of life,both directly and indirectly through their effects on family interactions, leisure activities and levels of health and energy.

The study conducted by Karrir and Khurana (1996) found significant correlations of Quality of work life of managers from three sectors of industry viz., Public, Private and Cooperative, with some of the background variables (education qualification, native/migrant status, income level) and with all of the motivational variables like job satisfaction and job involvement.

Singh (1983) conducted studies in chemical and textile factories in India that were designed to improve the Quality of Work Life by reorganizing the work and introducing participatory management. Bhatia and Valecha (1981) studied the absenteeism rates of textile factory and recommended that closer attention should be paid to improve the Quality of Work Life. Kavoussi (1978) compared the unauthorized absenteeism rates in

two large textile factories and recommended that closer attention be paid for improving the Quality of Work Life.

Raghvan (1978), the ExChairman of BHEL, a public sector organization, stressed the need for workers participation in management. According to him, participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments, or other organizations engaged in any industry is underscored by Constitution of India. Besides improved working conditions in the organization, there are ample evidence to highlight the implication of autonomy and participation at work to foster the meaning to work. Ritti (1970) in his study found that lack of opportunity to perform meaningful work is at the root of frustration among engineers and who have more autonomy at workplace feel more satisfied with their work life.

In a study, Sirota (1973) found that underutilization of workers skill and abilities cause low Quality of Work Life and suggested job enrichment programme to correct the problems of workers skill and abilities. Trist (1981) suggested that there should be optimum level of autonomy according to requirements of technology system. Allenspachs (1975) report on flexible working hours based on experiments in Switzerland, discussed its advantages and disadvantages, including its effects on job satisfaction and employee and management attitude.

Hackman and Oldham (1976) drew attention to what they described as psychological growth needs as relevant to the consideration of Quality of working life. Warr and

colleagues (1979), in an investigation of Quality of working life, considered a range of apparently relevant factors, including 1 work involvement, 2 intrinsic job motivation, 3 higher order need strength, 4 perceived intrinsic job characteristics, 5 job satisfaction, 6 life satisfaction, 7 happiness, and 8 self-rated anxiety Mirvis and Lawler (1984) suggested that Quality of working life was associated with a) satisfaction with wages, b) hours and working conditions, Baba and Jamal (1991) listed what they described as typical indicators of quality of working life, including: 1) job satisfaction, 2) job involvement, 3) work role ambiguity, 4) work role conflict, 5) work role overload, 6) job stress, 7) organizational commitment and 8) Turn-over intentions.

Ellis and Pompli (2002) identified a number of factors contributing to job dissatisfaction and quality of working life in nurses, including: 1) Poor working environments, 2) Resident aggression, 3) Workload, Unable to deliver quality of care preferred, 4) Balance of work and family, 5) Shift work, 6) Lack of involvement in decision making, 7) Professional isolation, 8) Lack of recognition, 9) Poor relationships with supervisor/peers, 10) Role conflict, 11) Lack of opportunity to learn new skills.