Relevance of the Job Characteristic Model in an ICT Company - a Great Place to Work

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
The validity of Hackman and Oldman’s (1976) Job Characteristics Model (JCM) has been assessed over 40 years. It has been modified and extended to correspond to working life issues relevant at each time it has been studied. Our society is referred to as a knowledge society, where all spheres of human life depend on the ability to create, distribute and share knowledge. Therefore, there is reason to question whether the original JCM corresponds to current working life challenges. In the present re-search, the intention is to study whether the JCM is still relevant in modern knowledge-intensive organizations and if modifications are needed. The research was a qualitative study by nature. The empirical part of the study was formed around semi-structured interviews and the research data was based on the in-terviews, the target company’s background materials and observations during the re-search process. The research questions were based on the background theories around the JCM. The research indicated that the JCM is still relevant in modern working life circum-stances, but needs modification to be more useful. The JCM includes five core job di-mensions: task variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. Ac-cording to the model’s developers, the core job dimensions are mediated by critical psychological states leading to personal and work outcomes. The personal and work outcomes are high internal work motivation, high quality work performance, high satis-faction with the work and low absenteeism and turnover. According to the model’s developers, employee growth need strength (GNS) and context satisfaction are mod-erating elements between the core job dimensions and the personal and work out-comes. The present research reveals that all the core job dimensions are still relevant, but they have different power in forming the personal and work outcomes. People’s autonomy is by far the most powerful job dimension which also influences the for-mation of the other core job dimensions. A new core job dimension was found, good care of people, influencing all the personnel and work outcomes. Furthermore, a good system of selecting people supporting personnel’s high GNS levels was added to the model.
Thesis advisor
Kauppila, Olli-Pekka
job characteristics model, work variety, work identity autonomy, autonomy, feedback, job satisfaction, internal motivation, care of people
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