The Design of Jobs

Greg R. Oldham

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Design of Jobs

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology



This chapter examines the link between the design of employee jobs and five positive employee experiences and actions suggested by the positive organizational scholarship literature: satisfaction with the job, satisfaction with opportunities to grow and develop at work, internal work motivation, creativity, and altruism. The chapter first defines job design and then describes an approach to the design of jobs that has received the most empirical attention: job characteristics theory (JCT). I then review the literature that has focused on the effects of the core job characteristics included in JCT on the aforementioned positive outcomes. The implications of these findings for the design of individuals’ jobs are then presented. I conclude with a discussion of several topics for future research, including the possible effects of the design of jobs on several positive employee outcomes (e.g., new learning and resilience) that have received little research attention.

Keywords: Job design; positive organizational scholarship; satisfaction; creativity; altruism; learning; resilience

Article.  9980 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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