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Shaping tasks and relationships at work: Examining the antecedents and consequences of employee job crafting

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.
Date16 January 2007
CreatorsGhitulescu, Brenda Elena
ContributorsCarrie R. Leana, John Hulland, Linda Argote, Frits K. Pil, Richard L. Moreland
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsunrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to University of Pittsburgh or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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