Job Characteristics Model
Word Count: 2500
The purpose of this case analysis is to apply the theory of Job Characteristic Model (JCM) to my own work experience and provide insightful recommendations for more effective organisational behaviour in the future. This will be achieved through the discussion of literature review, diagnosis, recommendations and reflection.
Job design does not increase work motivation for everyone in every situation (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). Studies have shown that diversity in orientations toward work could lead to varying responses to the exact same environment (Thomas, Buboltz & Winkelspecht, 2004). Despite these issues of individual characteristics, many researchers have examined a number of ways to increase job satisfaction and performance. JCM is one of the most recognised models for this job redesign and enhancement approach (Thomas, Buboltz & Winkelspecht, 2004).
In the 1950s, an organisational behaviour scholar, Frederick Herzberg introduced the motivator-hygiene theory. This theory was rejected as it failed to obtain adequate research support. However, Herzberg’s ideas produced new thinking about the motivational potential of the job itself. It was out of these ideas that the JCM was merged (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). To meet the limitations of Herzberg’s approach to job enrichment, J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham (1976) developed the JCM as shown in Figure 1 (Garg & Ratogi, 2006). The model is based on the assumption that jobs can be designed to help workers get not only enjoyment from their jobs but also making them feel that they are involved in doing work that is meaningful and valuable (Lunenburg, 2011).
Source: Hackman & Oldham (1976)
McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione (2013) define JCM as a “job design model that relates the motivational properties of jobs to specific personal and organisational consequences of those properties.” It consists of four major components: core job characteristics, critical psychological states (CPS), personal and work outcomes, and growth-need strength (GNS)(Debnath, Tandon & Pointer, 2007). Firstly, it is vital to consider the five core job dimensions; skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback from job.
Skill variety deals with the range and depth of expertise and ability used in performance (Fogarty & Uliss, 2015) required to complete a variety of work activities within their job (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione (2013). Individuals are more engrossed in jobs where they can be challenged by positions requiring varied engagement of their unique skills (Fogarty & Uliss, 2015). The second dimension, task identity, is the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole or an identifiable piece of work. Third dimension, task significance involves the importance of the task, including both internal significance (importance of the task to the organisation) and external significance (how proud the employees are to tell their family/friends/relatives what they do and where they work (Garg & rastogi, 2006). It is the degree to which the job affects the organisation and/or greater society (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013).
The fourth dimension, Autonomy refers to the freedom, control, independence and discretion that employees have to perform their job. Scheduling work, making decisions and means to accomplish the goals are some of the examples of autonomy (Garg & Rastogi, 2006). Job feedback refers to the amount information that is clear and direct about the performance of employees (Debnath, Tandon & Pointer, 2007), i.e. where they can tell how well they are doing on the basis of direct sensory information (McShane, Olekalns & Travalglione, 2013).
Hackman and colleagues hypothesize that three CPS: meaningfulness, responsibility and knowledge of results are prompted by work