Work Design: Creating Jobs and Roles That Promote Individual Effectiveness

John Cordery and Sharon K. Parker

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 1

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928309
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Work Design: Creating Jobs and Roles That Promote Individual Effectiveness

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In this chapter, our objective is to review existing knowledge relating to the psychological impact of work design (task, job, and work role characteristics) on individuals, and to set a clear, specific agenda for future research. Our starting point is an analysis of emergent trends in the characteristic nature of tasks and work roles within major contemporary and developing forms of work and occupation. This is necessary, as recent decades have witnessed dramatic shifts in how work is typically organized and performed within most occupations and industries, reflecting broader societal, environmental, technological, and economic changes. Following this analysis, we review key historical perspectives on work design before presenting an integrative theoretical model for considering the effects of work design on people. The chapter then moves to a consideration of the primary psychological processes and states, linking three broad categories of work design characteristics (task-related, relational, and contextual characteristics) to individual effectiveness outcomes. Our concern here is to update and expand theory relating to the effects of work design, integrating major recent bodies of research and theory, such as those dealing with motivational states and goal striving, self-determination, regulatory focus, work engagement, and social identity. The chapter concludes with a comprehensive research agenda for the years to come.

Keywords: Job design; work design; effectiveness; organizational behavior; work roles; motivation; performance; well-being; work attitudes; work redesign

Article.  29693 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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