How Can I Shape My Job to Suit Me Better? Job Crafting for Sustainable Employees and Organizations: An International Perspective

Chapter · March 2017with 1,635 Reads
DOI: 10.1002/9781119168058.ch3
In book: An Introduction to Work and Organizational Psychology, pp.48-63
Abstract
Job redesign is the process through which changes in the jobs, tasks or conditions of individual workers are made with the aim of contributing to their work motivation and performance. Given the unique constellation of working conditions prevalent in each job, traditional top-down job redesign interventions often turn out to be partly ineffective. Currently, organizations recognize that these should be complemented by bottom-up redesign strategies initiated by job incumbents themselves. Job crafting is a socially innovative, proactive strategy for employees to ‘shape their job to suit them better’, thereby benefitting sustainable organizational innovation and the sustainable employability of the workforce. Departing from the Job Demands-Resources Model perspective, an overview of empirical research on the predictors and outcomes of job crafting is given, and the way in which organizations can become more sustainable by stimulating the job crafting behaviour of their employees is explained.
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  • Toward human sustainability: How to enable more thriving at work
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  • Rotterdam: INSCOPE – Research for Innovation Available at: www.erasmusinnovatiemonitor .nl European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2012)
    • Erasmus Concurrentie-En Innovatiemonitor
    Erasmus Concurrentie-en Innovatiemonitor (2015). Rotterdam: INSCOPE – Research for Innovation. Available at: www.erasmusinnovatiemonitor.nl European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2012). Annual Report 2012. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union.
  • A review of job crafting research : The role of leader behaviors in cultivating successful job crafters
    • H Wang
    • E Demerouti
    • A B Bakker
    Wang, H., Demerouti, E., & Bakker, A. B. (2016). A review of job crafting research : The role of leader behaviors in cultivating successful job crafters. In S. K. Parker, & U.
  • Bottom-up job (re)design: Job crafting interventions in health care
    • H J Gordon
    • E Demerouti
    • A B Bakker
    • P M Le Blanc
    • T Bipp
    • M A Verhagen
    Gordon, H. J., Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Le Blanc, P. M., Bipp, T., & Verhagen, M. A. (2014). Bottom-up job (re)design: Job crafting interventions in health care. Paper presented at the Seventh European Conference on Positive Psychology, July, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Rotterdam: INSCOPE-Research for Innovation. Available at: www.erasmusinnovatiemonitor
    • Erasmus Concurrentie-En Innovatiemonitor
    Erasmus Concurrentie-en Innovatiemonitor (2015). Rotterdam: INSCOPE-Research for Innovation. Available at: www.erasmusinnovatiemonitor.nl
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  • Article
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  • Article
    Full-text available
    Job crafting can be viewed as changes that employees initiate in the level of job demands and job resources in order to make their own job more meaningful, engaging, and satisfying. As such, job crafting can be used to complement top-down approaches to improve jobs in order to overcome the inadequacies of job redesign approaches, to respond to the complexity of contemporary jobs, and to deal with the needs of the current workforce. This review aims to provide an overview of the conceptualizations of job crafting, the reasons why individuals craft their jobs, as well as the hypothetical predictors and outcomes of job crafting. Furthermore, this review provides suggestions to organizations on how to manage job crafting in their processes, and how to stimulate more beneficial job crafting behavior. Although research on job crafting is still in its infancy, it is worthwhile for organizations to recognize its existence and to manage it such that it has beneficial effects on the employees and the organization at large.
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    This dissertation explores job crafting, or the processes through which individuals conceptualize and carry out tasks, enact relationships with others to get work done, and ascribe meaning and significance to their jobs. Previous literature in this area has remained relatively silent about the work context factors shaping job crafting. Thus, the research conducted in this dissertation addresses three primary questions: (1) What does it mean to craft a job?; (2) What are the effects of the structural and relational context of work on job crafting?; and (3) What are the outcomes of job crafting? A model of individual job crafting and its antecedents and consequences is proposed, to describe how the structural and relational contexts of work shape opportunities and motivations to engage in job crafting. The research model explores the influence of discretion in work, task complexity, and task interdependence with others, as well as the influence of workgroup psychological safety and occupational community of practice, on how individuals craft their jobs. Further, outcomes of job crafting for individuals as well as the collective (workgroup and organization) are also explored. Job crafting is examined empirically in two settings that facilitate observation of job crafting because they offer individuals high opportunities to craft work (Eisenhardt, 1989), and provide different lenses that complement each other in enriching our understanding of job crafting. Study one (manufacturing work) preliminarily explores job crafting in autonomous teams in a manufacturing organization - the Volvo Uddevalla car factory in Sweden, where considerable room is deliberately left for individual input. Study two (service work) affords a richer context to explore the content of job crafting and in particular, the organizational and collective influences on job crafting. This study surveyed special education professionals - an occupation where there is no "right way" to do the work - in a sample of 200 schools from a large urban public school district in the U.S. Based on extensive qualitative work, a rich measure of job crafting was developed. The findings suggest that work discretion, task complexity, and interdependence with others enable job crafting behaviors. The positive effect of work discretion on task crafting is stronger for individuals with broader skills than for those with narrower skills. With regard to collective influences, team psychological safety inhibits individuals' job crafting. Further, the positive effects of the occupational community of practice on job crafting are stronger in organizational settings emphasizing collaborative work than in those emphasizing isolated work. With regard to outcomes, individual job crafting enhances employees' job satisfaction and commitment levels, while increasing individual performance and reducing absenteeism levels. In addition, the effects of individual job crafting extend beyond the individual and positively impact team outcomes. Finally, implications of findings for researchers and practitioners are also discussed.
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  • Crafting the change: The role of job crafting and regulatory focus in adaptation to organizational change. Unpublished doctoral dissertation
    • P Petrou
    Petrou, P. (2013). Crafting the change: The role of job crafting and regulatory focus in adaptation to organizational change. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Utrecht University.
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    The article examines the role of proactive personality in predicting work engagement and job performance. On the basis of the literature on proactive personality and the job demands–resources model, we hypothesized that employees with a proactive personality would be most likely to craft their own jobs, in order to stay engaged and perform well. Data were collected among 95 dyads of employees (N = 190), who were working in various organizations. The results of structural equation modeling analyses offered strong support for the proposed model. Employees who were characterized by a proactive personality were most likely to craft their jobs (increase their structural and social job resources, and increase their job challenges); job crafting, in turn, was predictive of work engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption) and colleague-ratings of in-role performance. These findings suggest that, to the extent that employees proactively adjust their work environment, they manage to stay engaged and perform well.
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to give a state‐of‐the art overview of the Job Demands‐Resources (JD‐R) model Design/methodology/approach – The strengths and weaknesses of the demand‐control model and the effort‐reward imbalance model regarding their predictive value for employee well being are discussed. The paper then introduces the more flexible JD‐R model and discusses its basic premises. Findings – The paper provides an overview of the studies that have been conducted with the JD‐R model. It discusses evidence for each of the model's main propositions. The JD‐R model can be used as a tool for human resource management. A two‐stage approach can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of individuals, work groups, departments, and organizations at large. Originality/value – This paper challenges existing stress models, and focuses on both negative and positive indicators of employee well being. In addition, it outlines how the JD‐R model can be applied to a wide range of occupations, and be used to improve employee well being and performance.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This longitudinal study examined whether employees can impact their own well-being by crafting their job demands and resources. Based on the Job Demands-Resources model, we hypothesized that employee job crafting would have an impact on work engagement, job satisfaction, and burnout through changes in job demands and job resources. Data was collected in a chemical plant at three time points with one month in between the measurement waves (N = 288). The results of structural equation modeling showed that employees who crafted their job resources in the first month of the study showed an increase in their structural and social resources over the course of the study (2 months). This increase in job resources was positively related to employee well-being (increased engagement and job satisfaction, and decreased burnout). Crafting job demands did not result in a change in job demands, but results revealed direct effects of crafting challenging demands on increases in well-being. We conclude that employee job crafting has a positive impact on well-being and that employees therefore should be offered opportunities to craft their own jobs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Article
    This article explores how a profound organizational change may impact employees’ abilities to work in an authentic manner. Authentic work hinges on subjectively experienced alignments between one’s work identity and the nature, purpose and practices of one’s work. It is proposed that people thrive when engaged in authentic work. The article is founded on a longitudinal qualitative case study in a public sector organization going through a merger. The interview data indicate that an organizational transformation may create (mis)alignments between work and identity on two levels. The informants considered whether their emerging work corresponded to their core self-definitions at work and whether they were able to carry out their work in a manner they found meaningful. Authentic work and positive individual-level outcomes resulted from alignments between work and identity, interpreted as chances for self-continuity or self-enhancement, and from new work practices that made it possible to realize values and beliefs about work. Inauthenticity was experienced when the new job in the post-merger organization was experienced as more confined, wrongly focused, and when the competence demands misaligned with self-assessed competences. The article provides examples of how the informants aimed at realigning their identities and work by carrying out job crafting and identity work.
  • Article
    This study focused on daily job crafting and explored its contextual determinants and one motivational outcome (i.e., work engagement). Job crafting was conceptualized as “seeking resources,” “seeking challenges,” and “reducing demands.” Participants were 95 employees from several organizations who completed a 5-day diary survey. As hypothesized, we found a 3-factor structure for the job crafting instrument, both at the general and day levels. We hypothesized and found that the combination of high day-level work pressure and high day-level autonomy (active jobs) was associated with higher day-level seeking resources and lower day-level reducing demands. Furthermore, we found that day-level seeking challenges (but not resources) was positively associated with day-level work engagement, whereas day-level reducing demands was negatively associated with day-level work engagement. Findings suggest that job crafting is a daily employee behavior with implications for management practice and future research. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    This study investigated a personal disposition toward proactive behavior, defined as the relatively stable tendency to effect environmental change. We developed an initial scale to assess the construct and administered it to a sample of 282 undergraduates. Factor analysis led to a revised, unidimensional scale with sound psychometric properties. A second sample of 130 undergraduate students was used to determine the relationships between the proactive scale and the ’Big Five‘ personality domains: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. In a third sample of 148 MBA students, we assessed the proactive scale's relationships with three personality traits and three criterion measures. Consistent with hypotheses, scores on the proactive scale correlated with need for achievement, need for dominance, and independent measures of the nature of subjects' extracurricular and civic activities, the nature of their major personal achievements, and peer nominations of transformational leaders. We discuss the potential of the proactive construct to enhance our understanding of, and ability to predict, a wide range of behaviors.
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    This summary commentary explores the likely future directions of research and theory on the design of organizational work. We give special attention to the social aspects of contemporary work, the process by which jobholders craft their own jobs, the changing contexts within which work is performed, and the increasing prominence of work that is performed by teams rather than individuals. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    Leading theories of job design have neglected to incorporate the important context of time into their premises, hindering these theories' explanatory power and utility. We demonstrate how systematically incorporating the context of time, in relation to the specific example of career dynamics, will improve our understanding of job design. We discuss the contribution of time by examining how career dynamics may influence employees' reactions to stimulating jobs and their propensity to craft more stimulating jobs. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    We propose that employees craft their jobs by changing cognitive, task, and/or relational boundaries to shape interactions and relationships with others at work. These altered task and relational configurations change the design and social environment of the job, which, in turn, alters work meanings and work identity. We offer a model of job crafting that specifies (1) the individual motivations that spark this activity. (2) how opportunities to job craft and how individual work orientations determine the forms job crafting takes, and (3) its likely individual and organizational effects. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Academy of Management Review is the property of Academy of Management and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
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    In this study we conducted performance assessments in 62 childcare centers and surveyed 232 teachers and aides, to examine the extent to which workers crafted their jobs and how such crafting affected classroom quality. Results show that individual and collaborative job crafting are distinct constructs; work discretion is related to both; and collaborative crafting is positively related to performance, particularly for less experienced teachers. Further, collaborative crafting is associated with stronger satisfaction and commitment and, for better teachers, stronger job attachment. We demonstrate that organizational research can contribute to the public interest via policy designs for high-quality early education. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Academy of Management Journal is the property of Academy of Management and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
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    Although much attention has been devoted to understanding employee resistance to change, relatively little research examines the impact that positive employees can have on organizational change. To help fill this need, the authors investigate whether a process of employees' positivity will have an impact on relevant attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, this study surveyed 132 employees from a broad cross-section of organizations and jobs and found: (a) Their psychological capital (a core factor consisting of hope, efficacy, optimism, and resilience) was related to their positive emotions that in turn were related to their attitudes (engagement and cynicism) and behaviors (organizational citizenship and deviance) relevant to organizational change; (b) mindfulness (i.e., heightened awareness) interacted with psychological capital in predicting positive emotions; and (c) positive emotions generally mediated the relationship between psychological capital and the attitudes and behaviors. The implications these findings have for positive organizational change conclude the article.
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    To investigate if workplace interventions resulted in changes in the psychosocial work environment. Process evaluation was conducted to study the implementation process and to use this knowledge to understand the results. Seven intervention units (n = 128) and seven non-randomized reference units (n = 103) of a large hospital in Denmark participated in an intervention project with the goal of improving the psychosocial working conditions. The intervention consisted of discussion days for all staff, employee working groups, leader coaching, and activities to improve communication and cooperation. Measures of the psychosocial work environment were conducted before the start of the intervention and again after 16 months using 13 scales from the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, version I (COPSOQ I). In the intervention units there was a statistically significant worsening in six out of 13 work environment scales. The decrease was most pronounced for three scales that measure aspects of interpersonal relations and leadership. In addition, all three scales that measure aspects of work organization and job content decreased. In comparison, the reference group showed statistically significant changes in only two scales. Process evaluation revealed that a large part of the implementation failed and that different implicit theories were at play. Without the insights gained from process data the negative effects of this intervention could not be understood. Sometimes--as it seems happened in this study--more harm can be done by disappointing expectations than by not conducting an intervention.
  • Article
    As employers respond to intensive global competition through the deregulation of labor, job insecurity has become a widespread problem. It has been shown to have significant health impacts in a growing number of workers, but less is known about its social distribution, the mechanisms through which it may act, and the moderating effects of gender, socioeconomic position, and company size. Utilizing data from a national survey of a representative sample of paid employees in Taiwan, we examined the prevalence of job insecurity and its associations with psychosocial work characteristics and health status. A total of 8705 men and 5986 women aged between 25 and 65 years old were studied. Information on perceived job insecurity, industrial and occupational types, psychosocial work characteristics as assessed by the Job Strain model, and various measures of health status were obtained by a self-administered questionnaire. The overall prevalence of job insecurity was high (50%). Job insecurity was more prevalent among employees with lower education attainment, in blue-collar and construction workers, those employed in smaller companies, and in older women. Insecure employees also reported lower job control, higher job demands, and poor workplace social support, as compared with those who held secure positions. Regression analyses showed that job insecurity was strongly associated with poor health, even with adjustment of age, job control, job demands, and work place social support. The deleterious effects of job insecurity appeared to be stronger in men than women, in women who held managerial or professional jobs than women in other employment grades, and in those working in larger companies than smaller ones. The findings of this study suggest that perceived job insecurity is an important source of stress, and it is accompanied with adverse psychosocial work conditions and poor health. High-risk groups were identified for further investigation.
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    The job demands-resources (JD-R) model proposes that working conditions can be categorized into 2 broad categories, job demands and job resources. that are differentially related to specific outcomes. A series of LISREL analyses using self-reports as well as observer ratings of the working conditions provided strong evidence for the JD-R model: Job demands are primarily related to the exhaustion component of burnout, whereas (lack of) job resources are primarily related to disengagement. Highly similar patterns were observed in each of 3 occupational groups: human services, industry, and transport (total N = 374). In addition, results confirmed the 2-factor structure (exhaustion and disengagement) of a new burnout instrument--the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory--and suggested that this structure is essentially invariant across occupational groups.
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    The authors examined a dynamic conceptualization of stress by investigating how economic stress, measured in terms of material loss, alters women's personal and social resources and how these changed resources impact anger and depressive mood. Resource change in women's mastery and social support over 9 months was significantly associated with changes in depressive mood and anger among 714 inner city women. Greater loss of mastery and social support was associated with increased depressive mood and anger. Loss of mastery and social support also mediated the impact of material loss on depressive mood and anger. Resource loss and worsening economic circumstances had more negative impact than resource gain and improving economic circumstances had positive impact, suggesting the greater saliency of loss than gain.