Job rotation

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Job rotation is a management technique that assigns trainees to various structures and departments over a period of a few years.[1] Surveys show that an increasing number of companies are using job rotation to train employees.

Organizations that use job rotation tend to be successful innovative companies and organizations with a growth and development agenda.[citation needed]

Job rotation is also a control to detect errors and frauds. It reduces the risk of collusion between individuals. Organizations dealing with sensitive information or system (e.g. bank) where there is an opportunity for personal gain can benefit by job rotation. Job rotation also helps in business continuity as multiple people are equally equipped to perform a job function. If an employee is not available other can handle his/her position with similar efficiency.

Positive effects[edit]

There are different reasons a company may choose to use job rotation such as using job rotation as a learning mechanism. Research suggests that there are significant benefits that may out weigh the costs involved with training employees for diversified positions.[2] As a learning mechanism, employees are given the opportunity to learn necessary skills which can help them to advance within a company. This employment opportunity also has the effect of boosting morale and self efficacy.[3] The company may benefit from using job rotation by having the ability to staff key positions within a company. This practice may allow a company to run more efficiently, and as a result, become more productive and profitable.

Job rotation can also be used to alleviate the physical and mental stresses endured by employees when working the same position, year after year. By allowing employees to rotate to other positions, the risk factors for some types of musculoskeletal disorders may be reduced.[4] Job Rotation is also believed to have the ability to decrease the amount of boredom and monotony experienced by employees who work the same position for extended periods of time.[5]

Negative Effects[edit]

There are some negative attributes associated with job rotation. Firstly, some positions within a company may not be eligible for rotation. There may be positions within a company that may be specialized due to technology or may require highly skilled workers.[6] These positions may not fit the profile for rotation opportunities because of the costs involved to train the workers. Another problem faced by companies is that some employ unionized workers that may be resistant to job rotation due to standard union practices.[7]

Furthermore, one other problem faced by companies is the possibility of having to pay incentives to workers for cooperation with the job rotation implementation which can lead to wage inequality.[8] Finally, the utilization of job rotation may have the effect of reducing a workforce because of the cross-training involved; a company may not need to hire additional staff to cover positions and may possibly layoff current employees no longer considered necessary.[9]


  1. ^ Schultz, D.
  2. ^ Ortega,J.
  3. ^ Schultz, D.
  4. ^ Jorgensen, M.
  5. ^ Hsieh, A.
  6. ^ Hsieh,A.
  7. ^ Jaturanonda,C.
  8. ^ Black, S.
  9. ^ Black, S.
  • Black, S. E., Lynch, L. M., & Krivelyova, A. (2004). How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy & Society, 43(1), 44-66.
  • Hsieh, A., & Chao, H. (2004). A reassessment of the relationship between job specialization, job rotation and job burnout: Example of Taiwan's high-technology industry. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(6), 1108-1123.
  • Jaturanonda, C., Nanthavanij, S., & Chongphaisal, P. (2006). A survey study on weights of decision criteria for job rotation in Thailand: Comparison between public and private sectors. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 17(10), 1834-1851.
  • Jorgensen, M., Davis, K., Kotowski, S., Aedla, P., & Dunning, K. (2005). Characteristics of job rotation in the Midwest US manufacturing sector. Ergonomics, 48(15), 1721-1733.
  • Ortega, J. (2001). Job rotation as a learning mechanism. Management Science, 47(10), 1361-1370.
  • Schultz, Duane P. Schultz, Sydney Ellen (2010). Psychology and work today : An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. pp. 136, 144, 176. ISBN 978-0205683581.