A balanced job is a way of organizing a workplace that is both directly democratic and also creates relative equal empowerment among all people involved.
Specifically a balanced job is a collection of tasks within a workplace that is balanced for its equity and empowerment. It was developed as an alternative to the corporate division of labor.
Each worker must do a share of rote tasks (unskilled work) for some time each day. All workers also share the most rewarding and empowering tasks in the workplace so it is coordinated with everyone’s involvement. In this way workers share the burdens and benefits of working in the workplace.
Balanced job complex implied lack of owners or formal managers involved in the workplace, as all tasks are balanced for empowerment.
Balanced job complexes are central to the theory of participatory economics which emerged from the work of radical theorist Michael Albert and that of radical economist Robin Hahnel .
The concept of the balanced job was developed at the South End Press in the late 1970s.
In the 1990s, a series of collective worker-run in Winnipeg, Manitoba , Canada, was founded using parecon-inspired principles, including balanced job tasks, as part of their internal structures. Most notable [ according to whom? ] in this regard have been Mondragon Bookstore and Coffee House, G7 Welcoming Committee Records , and Arbeiter Ring Publishing .
- Job rotation , a different form of changing roles
- Kibbutz , Israeli communities with similar scales of roles
- Participatory economics