Work object

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The working object ( English object work ) is in the organization theory of the object obtained by object carrier processed is and through the production process , a change in state undergoes.


Responsible body can be a worker or a machine . Through their task and the workplace , both receive at least one spatial relationship to the work object . The task holders have to edit or further process the work object with the help of work equipment , whereby a change in state occurs on the work object. As work items are real ( car when car manufacturers ) or abstract ( credit in a credit institution ) goods and services in question. By work object we understand the "objective or abstract form of objects to which the work task (...) refers at the beginning of the work and which will have to be changed according to its function". This change in state transforms the work object into a product ( end product , semi-finished product , intermediate product ) or a service.

The relationship between work and the work object is an object of knowledge in ergonomics , while business administration takes care of the transformation process of work objects - production - and organization .


Work objects are as old as human work. As early as May 1857, Karl Marx described the function of the work object in the processing of nature as follows: “The earth itself - as much as it may present obstacles in order to work on it, really to acquire it - does not present any obstacle to itself as the inorganic nature of the living individual, his workshop, the work equipment, work object and food of the subject to behave ". In his alienation theory, he assumed that the worker distanced himself spiritually from the work object through the division of labor and monotony , which in turn reduced his work performance . The willingness to work is strongly determined by the object and the work done. People are alienated from their work through the division of labor and the breakdown of work, which is evident from a lack of attachment to the work object.

In business administration, work is always object-related, it is work “on something”, it transforms the work object. The result of this transformation is work performance. The work gives the work object a value or increases it. The business economist Erich Gutenberg assumed in 1955 that there is an “inner relationship” between the worker (whom he called the “work subject”) and the work object such that the worker develops a - more or less strong - interest in the work object , as in research - and development work is the case. This relationship is part of the motivation to work . Erich Kosiol examined the work objects in detail in 1962 and called them "all possible reference objects of work" in the context of the work process. For him, the work process is the work part of a worker, "which is carried out on a work object given a given division of labor". With a given work sequence of different work processes on the same work object, the workstations are to be "arranged spatially in such a way that the work process can be carried out smoothly with the shortest transport routes". In 2000, Horst Albach attributed a close relationship to the motivated workforce to the work object.


A distinction is made between material work objects , information and living work objects. The material work objects include all materials and goods that are changed in the work system of the work task. Types of energy can be objects of work if they are converted in the production process (e.g. wind by wind power plants into wind energy ). Information is work objects if it stipulates the change of state during production in the form of work instructions. People , animals and plants come into consideration as living work objects. The human being can be the object of work in the service sector (e.g. the customer at the hairdresser's ), the animal at the vet and the plant at the farmer .

With all work objects it is particularly about the change of aggregate state , surface quality , sensitivity to treatment , shape , size , weight or danger .

Work object and workplace

The work object must be available at the workplace . There it is either in the idle state and can then be processed or is brought into a rest position for processing or can be processed within certain limits in motion ( assembly line production ). The workplace can also change with the work object, for example when building roads and paths or building bridges . The work cycle depends in particular on the type and quality of the work object and how much material resistance it offers during the work process.

A new work process exists when

  • the agent changes,
  • the work object changes
  • the work object is broken down into several objects or several work objects are combined into a single one
  • the work equipment changes or
  • a certain aggregate state of the work object is reached.

The change of agent, work object or work equipment represents the cause of new work processes at the workplace.

The work object needs a certain processing time in the work process , which also includes the periods of time during which the work object waits for the subsequent performance. The change of a work object takes place at the workplace by influencing or promoting (change of position or location), checking ( control in the work process), lying down (process -related interruption or operational disruption ) or storage .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Claus Oppelt / Gerd Schrick / Armin Bremmer: Learned machine fitters in the industrial production process , 1972, p. 71
  2. ^ Karl Marx: Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy , October 1857 - May 1958, p. 52
  3. Klaus Huffelmann: The reduction in working hours and their effect on the company , 1963, p. 89
  4. Joseföffelholz: Revision course on business administration. Volume I, 1967, p. 250
  5. The work object experiences an increase in value as a result of the processing.
  6. Erich Gutenberg: Fundamentals of business administration. Volume 1: The Production , 1957, p. 20
  7. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company. 1962, p. 196
  8. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company , 1962, p. 198
  9. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company , 1962, p. 235
  10. Horst Albach (Ed.): General Business Administration: Introduction , 2000, p. 181
  11. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company , 1962, p. 237
  12. ^ Heinrich B. Acker: Organizational Analysis - Procedures and Techniques for Practical Organizational Work , 1973, p. 79
  13. ^ Hanns Hub: Business Organization. 1983, p. 73
  14. ^ Manfred Schulte-Zurhausen : Organization. 2014, p. 136
  15. REFA, Methods of Working Studies , Part 2: Data Determination , 1978, p. 33