autonomy at work

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Is the extent to which employees are allowed to work independent of close supervision and to use their own discretion in undertaking their work. High autonomy means that employees are likely to be able to alter the pace of their work, how they perform the tasks, and the quality and quantity of their output. Low autonomy is when employees have no control over these aspects of their work. This low autonomy/low discretion is typically a feature of scientific management and production line work (see Fordism). In contrast, high autonomy/high discretion is typically a feature of professional and managerial work. [See also responsible autonomy.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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