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Job design agenda in the third millennium: Identifying the critical job characteristics in the modern workplace.

Al-Zoubi, Marwan T. (2005) Job design agenda in the third millennium: Identifying the critical job characteristics in the modern workplace. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The review of the main job design approaches (JCM in particular) has led to the conclusion that development in job design theory has not kept pace with the changes that have occurred in the organisational landscape. The JCM was developed principally from studies conducted during the 1950s of male shop floor in large scale industrial manufacturing plants. Work context and the workforce itself have changed dramatically since that time. The developments of technology have had a huge impact on the way in which work is conducted (Zijlstra et al, 1996; Gottfredson, 1997). While this change is widely recognised, the JCM remains the dominant influence in job design research and is yet to be superseded. In addition, little is known about the effect of such change in perception of the work psychosocial variables or people's reaction towards these developments. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore employees' opinion and reaction towards workplace developments in order to identify the critical job characteristics in contemporary jobs from the employee's perspective. The proposal was that allowing employees to decide what they like/dislike in their jobs would help in identifying the critical job characteristics in modem workplace. This was also expected to help in solving the narrow focus of the existing job design approaches' especially the lack of job contextual factors (e.g. social contact, work-life balance) that enhance employee' wellbeing and work performance. In light of this, three studies were conducted: the first two studies were designed to identify the critical job characteristics in the current workplace from the employee's perspective. By conducting a pilot study using qualitative techniques (interviews and content analysis) followed by a confirmatory study using quantitative techniques (checklist and factor analysis), 10 job characteristics were identified which were considered the critical dimensions for diagnosing the quality of modem jobs. Four of these characteristics were responsible for 'job content' design (intellectually challenging tasks, control, feedback, and training adequacy). The rest of the characteristics were factors responsible for 'job context' design (i.e. supportive supervision, supportive co-workers climate, work-life balance, financial rewards, recognition and physical environment). The third study was the formulation and empirical evaluation of a model for job redesign. The model was based partly on the critical job characteristics identified earlier and partly informed by psychological knowledge of job design and organisational behaviour research. Overall, each of the aims of the present research were achieved and some of the existing criticisms of job design approaches were addressed. The model dimensions attained significant results that were extracted from data collected from 667 employees working in various British organisations. A general conclusion that can be drawn from the present research is that job design is no longer a matter of job content (task) design (the tangible feature of the job itself such as control and feedback); it is also a matter of job context design (the features of the work environment where the tasks are delivered such as supervisors' practices and work-life balance). Both aspects were found to influence work performance and employees' wellbeing via cognitive and motivational mechanisms. The present research challenges the popular belief of the inapplicability of redesigning job context factors (e.g. the social aspect of the job) and provides initial recommendations for job context redesign interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 2005
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:15
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2017 14:43

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