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autonomy on job In developing countries, most fresh graduates opt to immigrate to...

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sasikumarupad... | College Teacher | Salutatorian

Posted September 1, 2011 at 12:06 AM via web

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autonomy on job

In developing countries, most fresh graduates opt to immigrate to overseas for employment. A few of them desire to venture a new business and others choose to get employment in national and multinational firms. Yet, almost all fear that they might lose freedom on job employment and simply would adhere to their boss and his guidance throughout their career. Does one really lose autonomy on one’s job? If yes, why do management fear of autonomy given to employees?

Actually, autonomy on job entails freedom or independence. The employees can make use of his creativity in job performance, ability to decide and plan his job independently. They can exercise freedom to participate in organization and social affairs. Furthermore, autonomy is also discretion to prepare one’s own work schedule, right to place one’s job- related grievances and use of the tools and resources in one’s own choice from among the available. However, autonomy does not confer discretion to evaluate one’s own performance, determine own remuneration, and exert unethical pressure to management.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 1, 2011 at 2:09 AM (Answer #2)

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From a manager's point of view, giving autonomy to subordinates can be a scary thing.  You, as the manager, are responsible for the overall running of your part of the firm.  If things go wrong, you are the one who gets in trouble.  If you give autonomy to your subordinates, you feel like things are out of your control.  You feel like your destiny is being controlled by others.  In light of this, it is not so strange that managers often are leery of giving autonomy to their employees.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 1, 2011 at 2:39 AM (Answer #3)

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I think employee autonomy is often seen as lack of control on many employers' parts.  The problem with lack of autonomy is that it reduces worker morale, and sometimes actually decreases efficiency.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 1, 2011 at 2:59 AM (Answer #4)

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If the employer is a good employer, he or she should know that part of the duty of a superior is to train and properly equip its employees to produce good work. When an employer gives autonomy to an employee it does not mean that the employee has a free ticket to do as he or she pleases. What it really means is that the employer understands that the worker understands and abides by the mission of the organization. For this reason, autonomy can be a very positive thing that ultimately avoids micromanagement and conflict.

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 1, 2011 at 3:12 AM (Answer #5)

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Autonomy on the job can be a good thing, but it can also have disastrous results. You listed freedom to create your own schedule as part of autonomy in the workplace. For most businesses, this doesn't work. What if everyone made their own schedules and no one wanted to work on Friday or the weekends? In some businesses, this could be disastrous. Managers have to guide their employees in order to keep a fair and functional work place. Most work places allow employees to have some input in their schedule, however, very few allow workers to dictate their own schedule entirely. Managers exist to handle this type of situation. Employees can't simply do whatever they want when they want. The business would never achieve its goals or accomplish its tasks. Managers have to step in and create guidelines for a business to function, which means that employees some surrender some of their autonomy to those managers.
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bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM (Answer #6)

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Having employee autonomy (with appropriate checks and balances) is essential to an efficiently run company and high worker morale. When a manager micro manages, he is telling his employees that he doesn't trust them, which makes the employees not want to work hard for the boss who doesn't trust them.

It is also a very slow process for a manager to have his hands on every decision in the company. I know I have wasted so much time waiting for approval on copies, or minor budget items, that sometimes I have missed the window for accomplishing what could  have been an easy task,

The key is hiring well qualified, well researched people to work underneath you. If you have checked the employees out, and watched them in action, you, as a manager, should be able to slowly withdraw from the equation and turn more and more responsibility over to the employee.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 1, 2011 at 12:58 PM (Answer #7)

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Autonomy on the job exists within the description of your Job Description and your fulfillment of that Description. Loss of autonomy resides in unreasonable demands made on your time and dignity. This is especially well illustrated today when mobile phones allow employers access at all hours and at all times. This represents a keen loss of autonomy. On the other hand, as a skilled workperson and/or professional, you have autonomy in performing your skills, talents and abilities to the best of your ability.

Autonomy is not an absolute value--even if you own your business. Autonomy is a value relative to skills, Job Description, and employer expectations and demands, even the government. The American film Two Weeks Notice, with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, illustrates this idea of relative autonomy from several angles: from her protests to her work for the corporation to seeking another job to the brother's power struggles to their negotiations to "save the Community Center."

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 2, 2011 at 5:00 AM (Answer #8)

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I think autonomy in any job fully reliant upon the ability and attitude of everyone in the corporation to work toward a common goal, work hard with independence, and perform competitively without a lot of accountability.

Unfortunately, I believe we live in a world where the above characteristics are the exception rather than the rule.  I think most employers and companies would love to be able to release the reigns and give employees more creative freedom and less instruction and supervision to detail.  I also think most employers know that such lax restraints would not only be taken advantage of, but cause production to drop.

As a teacher, my best classes are the ones where rather than teaching and instructing and enforcing rules all day, I can be a facilitator of ideas, discussions, and the persuit of knowledge.  But these kinds of classes are rare.  They require intelligence and so much more on the students' part.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 3, 2011 at 9:26 AM (Answer #9)

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As a teacher, we have more autonomy than most employees in America. Teachers are usually able to design their own lesson plans and conduct their classes in the way they choose. It is a wonderful feeling to have that type of freedom in a work place. However, I have been subjected to more than one administrator who prefers to micromanage and control what is being taught and how classroom rules are enforced. I doubt that American autonomy in the work place is much greater than elsewhere, but unless you are the boss, there will always be someone looking over your shoulder.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:57 PM (Answer #10)

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If you look at the trends and read the current books on management they all seem to be directing managers to allow workers the freedom to make decisions and allow them to have input to the operation of the business. I feel that the key to whether or not this will work relies largely on the leadership and their ability to build relationships with employees.

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boblawrence | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 22, 2011 at 7:25 AM (Answer #11)

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autonomy on job

In developing countries, most fresh graduates opt to immigrate to overseas for employment. A few of them desire to venture a new business and others choose to get employment in national and multinational firms. Yet, almost all fear that they might lose freedom on job employment and simply would adhere to their boss and his guidance throughout their career. Does one really lose autonomy on one’s job? If yes, why do management fear of autonomy given to employees?

Actually, autonomy on job entails freedom or independence. The employees can make use of his creativity in job performance, ability to decide and plan his job independently. They can exercise freedom to participate in organization and social affairs. Furthermore, autonomy is also discretion to prepare one’s own work schedule, right to place one’s job- related grievances and use of the tools and resources in one’s own choice from among the available. However, autonomy does not confer discretion to evaluate one’s own performance, determine own remuneration, and exert unethical pressure to management.

Autonomy for workers may or may not be possible, depending on the type of business.  For example, workers on an automobile assembly line may not and should not demonstrate autonomy.  There is only one correct way to accomplish the task at that employee's station, and any deviation would prove disastrous.

Autonomy to some extent might be appropriate in a sales position.  Here the employee is making contacts (by telephone or in person) with prospects.  She can express her autonomy by choseing when to call on whom, what to say to that particular person, and how to best follow-up based on her assessment of the situation. Such autonomy is beneficial to the worker and her bottom line.

As an intermediate situation, a server in a restaurant has a pretty structured series of activities in serving customers.  She can, however, exert her autonomy in terms of how she communicates with her customers...how she establishes report.  But basically she must adhere to a rigorous pattern of activity, starting with greeting the customers and delivering the menu, taking orders and serving the food and beverages,  and ending with presentation of the bill.

So I would be of the opinion that the degree of autonomy given to employees depends mostly on the nature of the job, and only to a lesser extent upon the skills and character of the employee.  And in no case is it appropriate for the worker to express autonomy in terms of not showing up or not doing the job for which he was hired.

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