Contrasting approaches working together. A comparative case study on the influence of a combined application of scale and flow design characteristics on the perceived quality of work in the debt counselling process of Dutch municipalities

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2023-06-23
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en
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In economies of scale and economies of flow design literature there is extensive information on the interpretation of quality of work and how this can be achieved through organizational structures. Despite their contrasting design characteristics, and different interpretation of quality of work, economies of scale and economies of flow design characteristics are simultaneously applied in practice, as in the social domain of Dutch municipalities. This study was aimed at creating an understanding on how the combined application of these contrasting design characteristics influence the perceived quality of work among employees. To inquire these phenomena, a comparative case study is conducted in the debt counselling process of two Dutch municipalities. The findings are based on 11 interviews with operational and managerial employees involved in the process. The findings illustrate that a combination of economies of scale and economies of flow design characteristics can strengthen each other in managing stress conditions, can result in perceived process involvement when operational economies of scale and managerial economies of flow characteristics are combined, but can also cause challenges when the characteristics contradict in how employees perceive meaningful work.
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen