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

Ghitulescu, Brenda Elena (2007) Shaping tasks and relationships at work: Examining the antecedents and consequences of employee job crafting. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    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.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    Creators/Authors:
    CreatorsEmailORCID
    Ghitulescu, Brenda Elenabghitulescu@katz.pitt.edu
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairPil, Frits Kfritspil@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberLeana, Carrie Rleana@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberHulland, Johnjhulland@katz.pitt.edu
    Committee MemberArgote, Lindaargote@andrew.cmu.edu
    Committee MemberMoreland, Richard Lcslewis@pitt.edu
    Title: Shaping tasks and relationships at work: Examining the antecedents and consequences of employee job crafting
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 16 January 2007
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 02 November 2006
    Approval Date: 16 January 2007
    Submission Date: 11 December 2006
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    URN: etd-12112006-131255
    Uncontrolled Keywords: job crafting; relational context; structural context; work context; communities of practice; job design
    Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:10
    Last Modified: 25 May 2012 11:41
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-12112006-131255/, etd-12112006-131255

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