- Linear work is observable, measurable, and generally repetitive and unstimulating.
- Non-linear work cannot be measured through observation. It is generally creative, varied, and stimulating.
Most management gurus solve the linear work problem by pretending it doesn't exist, eliminating it through automation, or camouflaging it with things like vertical job enrichment. The fact is there will always be linear work, and much of it is critical to an organization's bottom-line performance.
For those doing purely non-linear work, the Herzberg concepts are generally valid. However, in many instances they are not enough. Take the example of an Engineer who is doing totally creative design work and still sneaks out of work for half a day to prepare his dirt bike for a weekend race, or the Ski Instructor who plays computer games while he should be updating his student plans. In today’s world, there is always something more interesting to do.
Linear workers, who toil very hard for no extra money, are under attack ... from other people, and even from within. The notion is: “Why am I busting my tail to make some owner (or executive) richer when I could coast like Susie, have some fun, and take home the same pay.” organization performance entertainment factors as compared to performance factors have to leave at 2:30” … even if backlogged with critical work.