job characteristics model (JCM) is a normative approach to job redesigning and
enrichment in organizations. Two organizational psychologists designed this
model; Greg Oldham and J. Richard Hackman. The job characteristics model
explicitly states the five core dimensions of work that can result in critical
psychological states in individual employees.
first three dimensions of JCM are;
i. Skill variety- Range within which workers
ii. Task identity- The ability to accomplish
the entire job from start to finish
iii. Task significance- impact of the situation
dimensions named above play a role to the meaningfulness of the work.
Therefore, work is made more meaningful to the employee if the task
significance, identity, and variety are higher than before.
is the fourth job dimension. Autonomy refers to the extent of freedom, and
discretion employees have over their tasks. The greater the freedom, the more
employees feel responsible for the outcome of their work.
last dimension is feedback, which refers to the extent to which the job
provides employees with information about the effectiveness of their
performance. Feedback allows employees to appreciate results of their efforts.
The job characteristic model recommends that positive psychological states will
yield positive outcomes for individual employees as well as the whole
organization. It will also enhance high-quality performance, low absenteeism,
high motivation, low labor turnover and high job satisfaction ("Job
Characteristics Model - Oxford Reference", 2016).
job characteristic model is used to assess the potential of the motivation of
specific operations and thereby suggest which of them to redesign. JCM does the
assessment by calculating a motivational-potential score (MPS) from a
questionnaire comprising of the components of the job characteristics model.
The score is an index derived from the following formula;
(Skill variety + task significance + task variety)/3 * Autonomy * Feedback
and Hackmanâ€™s model further proposes that high motivation is related to
experiencing the following psychological states while working;
i. Responsibility â€“ Abundant freedom of action
supplied to an employee gives them an opportunity to be a success or failure at
their job. They are also able to incorporate new skills and make changes while
doing the job.
ii. The meaningfulness of work â€“ High morale
makes employees feel like labor means something to them, and itâ€™s a thing they
can relate to which is intrinsic to fundamental motivation. This way, work
becomes motivating of itself
iii. Knowledge of outcomes- First, it provides
employees with knowledge of how successful their job was so as they can learn
from mistakes. Second, it connects them to consumers of their output which
gives them a further purpose to their work.
the five critical job characteristics; knowledge of outcomes, responsibility,
and meaningfulness of work (skill variety, task significance, and task
identity) makes it possible to derive the key components of a job design before
further redesigning it. ("Hackman and Oldham job characteristics model |
Employee motivation theories | YourCoach Gent", 2016):
i. Assigning jobs to groups so as to multiply
the wholeness of deliverables produced and allow organizations to enhance
ii. Partition work to improve skill variety
iii. Communicate outcomes to workers and connect
them to customers of their end products so that they can get feedback and learn
iv. Delegating a task to its lowest level so as
to create autonomy hence responsibility.
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