Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 169–191 | Cite as

Neglected questions in job design: How people design jobs, task-job predictability, and influence of training

  • Michael A. Campion
  • Michael J. Stevens
Full Articles


Three questions important to job design interventions but neglected in research were explored. First, how do people design jobs? Internal processes (e.g., growth needs) from psychological (or job enrichment) models of job design were not apparent. Instead, groupings of tasks into jobs suggested simple cognitive categorization based on task similarity, reflecting an engineering (or work simplification) orientation. Second, can job design be predicted from task design? Separate measures for job and task designs were unrelated, indicating that the whole is not predictable from the parts in job design, Third, can job design principles be trained? Subjects easily learned and applied different job design approaches.


Social Psychology Social Issue Design Principle Design Approach Task Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, N. H., & Shanteau, J. (1977). Weak inference with linear models.Psychological Bulletin, 84, 1155–1170.Google Scholar
  2. Astrand, P. O., & Rodahl, K. (1977).Textbook of work physiology: Physiological bases of exercise (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Babbage, C. (1835). On the economy of machinery and manufacturers. Reprinted in L. E. Davis & J. C. Taylor (Eds.) (1979),Design of jobs (2nd ed., pp. 3–5). Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear.Google Scholar
  4. Barnes, R. M. (1980).Motion and time study: Design and measurement of work (7th ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Billings, R. S., Klimoski, R. J., & Breaugh, J. A. (1977). The impact of a change in technology on job characteristics: A quasi-experiment.Administrative Science Quarterly, 22, 318–339.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brief, A. P., & Aldag, R. J. (1975). Employee reactions to job characteristics: A constructive replication.Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 182–186.Google Scholar
  7. Brief, A. P., Wallace, M. J., & Aldag, R. J. (1976). Linear vs. non-linear models of the formation of affective reactions: The case of job enlargement.Decision Sciences, 7, 1–9.Google Scholar
  8. Campion, M. A. (1988). Interdisciplinary approaches to job design: A constructive replication with extensions.Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 467–481.Google Scholar
  9. Campion, M. A. (1989). Ability requirement implications of job design: An interdisciplinary perspective.Personnel Psychology, 42, 1–24.Google Scholar
  10. Campion, M. A., & Berger, C. J. (1990). Conceptual integration and empirical test of job design and compensation relationships.Personnel Psychology, 43, 525–553.Google Scholar
  11. Campion, M. A., Kosiak, P. L., & Langford, B. A. (1988, August).Convergent and discriminant validity of the Multimethod Job Design Questionnaire. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  12. Campion, M. A., & McClelland, C. L. (1991). Interdisciplinary examination of the costs and benefits of enlarged jobs: A job design quasi-experiment.Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 186–198.Google Scholar
  13. Campion, M. A., & Thayer, P. W. (1985). Development and field evaluation of an interdisciplinary measure of job design.Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 29–43.Google Scholar
  14. Campion, M. A., & Thayer, P. W. (1987). Job design: Approaches, outcomes, and trade-offs.Organizational Dynamics, 15(3), 66–79.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, J. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales.Educational and Psychological Measurement, 10, 37–46.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen, J. (1977).Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (Rev. ed.). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  17. Cronbach, L. J., Gleser, G. C., Nanda, H., & Rajaratnam, N. (1972).The dependability of behavioral measurements: Theory of generalizability for scores and profiles. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Davis, L. E., Canter, R. R., & Hoffman, J. (1955). Current job design criteria.Journal of Industrial Engineering, 6(2), 5–8, 21–23.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, L. E., & Taylor, J. C. (1979).Design of jobs (2nd ed.). Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear.Google Scholar
  20. Davis, L. E., & Wacker, G. J. (1982). Job design. In G. Salvendy (Ed.),Handbook of industrial engineering (pp. 2.5.1–2.5.31). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Dawes, R. M. (1979). The robust beauty of improper linear models in decision making.American Psychologist, 34, 571–582.Google Scholar
  22. Dawes, R. M., & Corrigan, B. (1974). Linear models in decision making.Psychological Bulletin, 77, 95–106.Google Scholar
  23. DeNisi, A. S., Cafferty, T. P., & Meglino, B. M. (1984). A cognitive view of the performance appraisal process: A model and research proposition.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 33, 360–396.Google Scholar
  24. Einhorn, H. J., & Hogarth, R. M. (1975). Unit weighting schemes for decision-making.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 13, 171–192.Google Scholar
  25. Ewing, D. C. (1983).Do it my way or you're fired. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  26. Feldman, J. M. (1981). Beyond attribution theory: Cognitive processes in performance appraisal.Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 127–148.Google Scholar
  27. Feldman, J. M. (1988, August). Social cognition, reality, and job perception. In M. A. Campion (Chair),New directions in job design: Expanding predictors, criteria, and theory. Symposium presented at the meeting of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Dallas TX.Google Scholar
  28. Fogel, L. J. (1967).Human information processing. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  29. Ford, R. N. (1969).Motivation through the work itself. New York: American Management Association.Google Scholar
  30. Frank, L. L., & Hackman, J. R. (1975). A failure of job enrichment: The case of the change that wasn't.Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 11, 413–436.Google Scholar
  31. Fried, Y., & Ferris, G. R. (1987). The validity of the Job Characteristics Model: A review and meta-analysis.Personnel Psychology, 40, 287–322.Google Scholar
  32. Gilbreth, F. B. (1911).Motion study: A method for increasing the efficiency of the workman. New York: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  33. Goldstein, I. L. (1986).Training in organizations: Needs assessment, development, and evaluation (2nd ed.). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  34. Graen, G. B., Scandura, T. A., & Graen, M. R. (1986). A field experimental test of the moderating effects of growth need strength on productivity.Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 484–491.Google Scholar
  35. Grandjean, E. (1980).Fitting the task to the man: An ergonomic approach. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  36. Griffeth, R. W. (1985). Moderation of the effects of job enrichment by participation: A longitudinal field experiment.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 35, 73–93.Google Scholar
  37. Griffin, R. W. (1982).Task design: An integrative approach. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.Google Scholar
  38. Griffin, R. W. (1983). Objective and social sources of information in task redesign: A field experiment.Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 184–200.Google Scholar
  39. Griffin, R. W. (1991). Effects of work redesign on employee perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors: A long-term investigation.Academy of Management Journal, 34, 425–435.Google Scholar
  40. Hackman, J. R., & Lawler, E. E. (1971). Employee reactions to job characteristics.Journal of Applied Psychology, 55, 259–286. (Monograph).Google Scholar
  41. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the Job Diagnostic Survey.Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 159–170.Google Scholar
  42. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 250–279.Google Scholar
  43. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980).Work redesign. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  44. Hackman, J. R., Pearce, J. L., & Wolfe, J. C. (1978). Effects of changes in job characteristics on work attitudes and behaviors: A naturally occurring quasi-experiment.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 21, 289–304.Google Scholar
  45. Hall, D. T., Goodale, J. G., Rabinowitz, S., & Morgan, M. A. (1978). Effects of top-down departmental and job change upon perceived employee behavior and attitudes: A natural field experiment.Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, 62–72.Google Scholar
  46. Herzberg, F. (1966).Work and the nature of man. Cleveland: World.Google Scholar
  47. Hirst, M. K. (1988). Intrinsic motivation as influenced by task interdependence and goal setting.Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 96–101.Google Scholar
  48. Kirkpatrick, D. T. (1960). Techniques for evaluating training programs: Part 3—behavior.American Society of Training Directors Journal, 14(1), 13–18.Google Scholar
  49. Kiggundu, M. N. (1981). Task interdependence and the theory of job design.Academy of Management Review, 6(3), 499–508.Google Scholar
  50. Kiggundu, M. N. (1983). Task interdependence and job design: Test of a theory.Organizationl Behavior and Human Performance, 31, 145–172.Google Scholar
  51. Latack, J. C., & Foster, L. W. (1985). Implementation of compressed work schedules: Participation and job redesign as critical factors for employee acceptance.Personnel Psychology, 38, 75–92.Google Scholar
  52. Lawler, E. E. (1985). Education, management style, and organizational effectiveness.Personnel Psychology, 38, 1–26.Google Scholar
  53. Lawler, E. E., Hackman, J. R., & Kaufman, S. (1973). Effects of job redesign: A field experiment.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 49–62.Google Scholar
  54. Leonard-Barton, D. (1987). Implementing structured software methodologies: A case of innovation in process technology.Interfaces: An International Journal of the Institute of Management Sciences and the Operations Research Society of America, 17(3), 6–17.Google Scholar
  55. Liden, R. C., Parsons, C. K., & Nagao, D. H. (1987). Alongitudinal investigation of the effects of office automation on perceived job characteristics and attitudes. Paper presented at the meeting of the Academy of Management, New Orleans LA.Google Scholar
  56. Locke, E. A., Sirota, D., & Wolfson, A. D. (1976). An experimental case study of the successes and failures of job enrichment in a government agency.Journal of Applied Psychology, 61, 701–711.Google Scholar
  57. Lord, R. G. (1985). An information processing approach to social perceptions, leadership, and behavioral measurement in organizations. In B. M. Staw & L. L. Cummings (Eds.),Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 7, pp. 87–128). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  58. Lord, R. G., Foti, R. J., & De Vader, C. L. (1984). A test of leadership categorization theory: Internal structure, information processing, and leadership perceptions.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34, 343–378.Google Scholar
  59. Lord, R. G., Foti, R. J., & Phillips, J. S. (1982). A theory of leadership categorization. In J. G. Hunt, U. Sekaran, & C. Schriesheim (Eds.),Leadership: Beyond establishment views (pp. 104–121). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Loher, B. T., Noe, R. A., Moeller, N. L., & Fitzgerald, M. P. (1985). A meta-analysis of the relation of job characteristics to job satisfaction.Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 280–289.Google Scholar
  61. McClelland, D. C. (1961).The achieving society. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  62. McCormick, E. J. (1976).Human factors in engineering and design (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  63. Oldham, G. R., & Brass, D. J. (1979). Employee reactions to an open-plan office: A naturally occurring quasi-experiment.Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 267–284.Google Scholar
  64. Orpen, C. (1979). The effects of job enrichment on employee satisfaction, motivation, involvement, and performance: A field experiment.Human Relations, 32, 189–217.Google Scholar
  65. Pierce, J. L., & Dunham, R. B. (1976). Task design: A literature review.Academy of Management Review, 1(4), 83–97.Google Scholar
  66. Raelin, J. A. (1987). The ‘60s kids in the corporation: More than just “daydream believers.”Academy of Management Executive, 1(1), 21–30.Google Scholar
  67. Roberts, K. H., & Glick, W. (1981). The job characteristics approach to task design: A critical review.Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 193–217.Google Scholar
  68. Salvendy, G. (1978). An industrial engineering dilemma: Simplified versus enlarged jobs. In R. Muramatsu & N. A. Dudley (Eds.),Production and industrial systems. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  69. Scott, W. E. (1966). Activation theory and task design.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 1, 3–30.Google Scholar
  70. Shiffrin, R. M., & Schneider, W. (1977). Controlled and automatic human information processing: II. Perceptual learning, automatic attending, and a general theory.Psychological Review, 84, 127–190.Google Scholar
  71. Smith, A. (1776).An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Reprinted by R. H. Campbell & A. S. Skinner (Eds.). (1981). Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Classics.Google Scholar
  72. Smith, P. C., & Kendall, L. M. (1963). Retranslation of expectations: An approach to the construction of unambiguous anchors for rating scales.Journal of Applied Psychology, 47, 149–155.Google Scholar
  73. Steers, R. M., & Mowday, R. T. (1977). The motivational properties of tasks.Academy of Management Review.2, 645–658.Google Scholar
  74. Steiner, I. D. (1979). Task-performing groups. In J. W. Thibaut, J. T. Spence, & R. C. Carson (Eds.),Contemporary topics in social psychology (pp. 393–422). Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
  75. Stone, E. F. (1986). Job scope-job satisfaction and job scope-job performance relationships. In E. A. Locke (Ed.),Generalizing from laboratory to field settings (pp. 189–206). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  76. Stone, E. F., & Gueutal, H. G. (1985). An empirical derivation of the dimensions along which characteristics of jobs are perceived.Academy of Management Journal, 28, 376–396.Google Scholar
  77. Taber, T. D., Beehr, T. A., & Walsh, J. T. (1985). Relationships between job evaluation ratings and self-ratings of job characteristics.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 35, 27–45.Google Scholar
  78. Taylor, F. W. (1911).The principles of scientific management. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  79. Taylor, J. C. (1979). Job design criteria twenty years later. In L. E. Davis & J. C. Taylor (Eds.),Design of jobs (2nd ed., pp. 54–63). Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear.Google Scholar
  80. Tichauer, E. R. (1978).The biomechanical basis of ergonomics: Anatomy applied to the design of work situations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  81. Turner, A. N., & Lawrence, P. R. (1965).Industrial jobs and the worker: An investigation of response to task attributes. Boston: Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.Google Scholar
  82. U. S. Department of Labor. (1972).Handbook for analyzing jobs. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  83. U. S. Department of Labor. (1973).Task analysis inventories: A method for collecting job information. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  84. Wainer, H. (1976). Estimating coefficients in linear models: It don't make no nevermind.Psychological Bulletin, 83, 213–217.Google Scholar
  85. Wall, T. D., Clegg, C. W., Davies, R. T., Kemp, N. J., & Mueller, W. S. (1987). Advanced manufacturing technology and work simplification: An empirical study.Journal of Occupational Behavior, 8, 233–250.Google Scholar
  86. Welford, A. T. (1976).Skilled performance: Perceptual and motor skills. Glenview, IL: Scott-Foresman.Google Scholar
  87. Wexley, K. N., & Latham, G. P. (1981).Developing and training human, resources in organizations. Glenview, IL: Scott-Foresman.Google Scholar
  88. Wong, C. S., & Campion, M. A., (1991). Development and test of a task level model of motivational job design.Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 825–837.Google Scholar
  89. Wood, R. E., (1986). Task complexity: Definition of the construct.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 37, 60–82.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Campion
    • 1
  • Michael J. Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.Krannert School of ManagementPurdue UniversityWest Lafayette

Personalised recommendations