Objective: To learn how job design affects performance.
Time: About 45 minutes.
Instructions: Have each learner take the survey below. Once they have completed it, they should total their scores and then discuss the following:
Normally, persons who are in a position of leadership will have scores that are higher than their workers. Why is this?
If your employees were to take this survey today, what do you think their average scores would be?
If possible, have them administer the survey to some of their employees and then discuss opportunities for improving the job design.
Discuss Hackman & Oldham's Five Dimensions (see bottom of this page) and how they help to motivate a jobholder. Ask for a few examples of how a job could be redesigned under each of the five dimensions. In addition, discuss how this relates to Organizational Behavior.
Job Design Questionnaire
Directions: Listed below are some statements about your job. For each statement, mark your response based on how much you agree or disagree with it?
My job provides:
| 1. a lot of variety.
| 2. allows me the
opportunity to complete the work I start.
| 3. is one that may affect a lot of other people by how well the work is performed.
| 4. lets me be left on my own to do my own work.
| 5. provides feedback on how well I am performing as I am working.
| 6. provides me with a variety of work.
| 7. is arranged so that I have a chance to do the job from beginning to end.
| 8. is relatively significant in the organization.
| 9. provides the opportunity for independent thought and action.
| 10. provides me with the opportunity to find out how well I am doing.
| 11. gives me the opportunity to do a number of different things.
| 12. is arranged so that I may see projects through to their final completion.
| 13. is very significant in the broader scheme of things.
| 14. gives me considerable opportunity for independence and freedom in how I do
| 15. provides me with the feeling that I know whether I am performing well or poorly.
Scoring for job design questionnaire
The survey is designed to analyze five dimensions of the job: Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significant, Autonomy, Feedback About Results.
Total your score:
- Skill Variety — Total the scores for questions 1, 6, 11: _______
- Task Identity — Total the scores for questions 2, 7, 12: _______
- Task Significant — Total the scores for questions 3, 8, 13: _______
- Autonomy — Total the scores for questions 4, 9, 14: _______
- Feedback About Results — Total the scores for questions 5, 10, 15: _______
The lower scoring dimensions (normally, anything below a 9) should be investigated to see if the job environment can be improved.
About The Survey
Katz & Van Maanen's Loci of Work Satisfaction
An analysis of job factors by Katz and Van Maanen (1977) identified three clusters that were important to workers as job satisfiers. They named these clusters "Loci of Work Satisfaction" and described them as follows:
- The job itself — corresponding to intrinsic factors.
- The interaction context — corresponding to contextual factors such as co-workers, supervisors, and other people in the job environment. This interaction context, is the social environment that a worker needs. Other behavioral theorists have also deemed the importance of the social environment that a worker needs on the job.
- Organizational policies — corresponding to contextual factors such as pay and promotions.
Hackman & Oldham's Five Dimensions of Motivating Potential
Hackman and Oldham (1975) further broke the first Loci of Work Satisfaction — intrinsic factors (the job itself) into five dimensions. Any given job can be analyzed, utilizing these five dimensions for its motivating potential. The job can then be redesigned to eliminate what is bothering the workers. Listed below are the five dimensions of motivating potential:
- Skill variety — the degree to which a job requires a variety of challenging skills and abilities.
- Task identity — the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work.
- Task significance — the degree to which the job has a perceivable impact on the lives of others, either within the organization or the world at large.
- Autonomy — the degree to which the job gives the worker freedom and independence in scheduling work and determining how the work will be carried out.
- Feedback — the degree to which the worker gets information about the effectiveness of his or her efforts, either directly from the work itself or from others.
Hackman, J.R., Oldham, G.R. (1975). Development of the Job Diagnostic Survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, pp.159-70.
Katz, R., Van Maanen, J. (1977). The Loci of Work Satisfaction. Human Relations, 30. pp.469-486.
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