Job Characteristics Theory Homework

I’m studying for my Business class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

Describe a job you have/had or a family member has in one page or less by explaining:

1) the degree that the job has each of the core job dimensions in the job characteristics model–MAKE SURE YOU MENTION HOW THE JOB HAS HIGH, MEDIUM, OR LOW LEVELS OF ALL 5 OF THE CORE JOB DIMENSIONS AND GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF WHY EACH DIMENSION IS HIGH, MEDIUM, OR LOW (EXAMPLE: MY SKILL VARIETY IS HIGH BECAUSE I USE ORAL SKILLS IN TEACHING, WRITING & STATISTICS SKILLS IN RESEARCH, AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS WITH STUDENTS, COWORKERS, AND COMPANIES I DO RESEARCH IN).

2) how the core job dimensions of that job influence psychological states and personal/work outcomes. THIS IS WHERE YOU MENTION HOW EACH CORE JOB DIMENSION RELATES TO: 1) A CRITICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE AND 2) AN OUTCOME (EXAMPLE: THE HIGH SKILL VARIETY IN MY JOB INCREASES HOW MEANINGFUL MY JOB IS AND KEEPS MY MOTIVATION TO DO MY JOB HIGH).

** Here are a few words on task identity (part of Job Characteristics Theory) to ensure your understanding of that concept:

Task identity is about you being involved in a project from its start until it is finished OR being involved with customers from the time they enter the store until they leave.

Task identity is NOT about making sure activities start and finish in a timely manner. Task identity also should NOT be mistaken for understanding what the task is.

The reason why task identity contributes to you feeling a sense of meaningfulness on the job is that you see how you have made a difference (often through seeing a visible outcome, like a satisfied customer, a completed project, or a painted fence).

Skill variety is NOT about doing a variety of tasks that use the same skill set. It’s about using different skills on the job.

** In case you need more info on the 5 job dimensions:

  1. Skill Variety — the degree to which a job requires a variety of different activities in carrying out the work and which use different skills and talents of the person
  2. Task Identity — the degree to which the job requires completion of a “whole” and identifiable piece of work. Doing a job from beginning to end with a visible outcome.
  3. Task Significance — the degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people.
  4. Autonomy — the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out.
  5. Feedback — the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the individual’s obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.

(These notes are adapted from J. Richard Hackman, “Designing Work for Individuals and for Groups,” pp. 94-103 of Developing Managerial Skills in Organizational Behavior, 2nd ed. by LA Mainiero and CL Tromley, Prentice-Hall)

So, to recap: In your assignment, you want to say:

This job has a low/moderate/high level of skill variety because…[add brief explanation that shows you know what skill variety is]. This level of skill variety provides me with a high/moderate/low level of meaningfulness of work in this job because….{add an explanation}, which in turn results in my having a high/moderate/low level of motivation/satisfaction/staying on the job.

Then do the same thing for each of the other 4 core job characteristics (including explanations that show you understand the core job characteristic, the critical psychological state from the model, and an outcome from the model).

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