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Is Job Enrichment Really Enriching?

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Author Info

  • Robert D. Mohr

    ()
    (University of New Hampshire)

  • Cindy Zoghi

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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    Abstract

    This study uses a survey of Canadian workers with rich, matched data on job characteristics to examine whether “enriched” job design, with features like quality circles, feedback, suggestion programs, and task teams, affects job satisfaction. We identify two competing hypotheses on the relationship between enriched jobs and job satisfaction. The “motivation hypothesis,” implies that enrichment will generally increase satisfaction and the “intensification hypothesis,” implies that enrichment may decrease satisfaction by increasing the intensity and scope of work. Our results show that several forms of enrichment, specifically suggestion programs, information sharing, task teams, quality circles and training, raise satisfaction. Therefore we argue that the data support the motivation hypothesis. Partitioning the data by education level or union membership further supports this conclusion, while a direct test of the intensification hypothesis does not support the competing hypothesis.

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    File URL: http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec060010.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 389.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec060010

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    Related research

    Keywords: Job Satisfaction; Job Enrichment; Human Resource Practices;

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    References

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    1. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
    2. Donna Brown & Steven McIntosh, 2003. "Job satisfaction in the low wage service sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1241-1254.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    5. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1997. "Job Satisfaction, Wage Changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Studies in Economics 9711, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    7. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The determinants of labor absence: Economic factors and workgroup norms across countries," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
    8. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato, 2003. "The Effect of Employee Involvment on Firm Performance: Evidence from an Econometric Case Study," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-612, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    9. Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "High Performance Workplace Practices and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A re-examination of the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Federica Origo & Laura Pagani, 2006. "Is Work Flexibility a Stairway to Heaven? The Story Told by Job Satisfaction in Europ," Working Papers 97, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2006.
    2. Maëlezig Bigi & Nathalie Greenan & Sylvie Hamon-Cholet & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2012. "Changements organisationnels et évolution du vécu au travail : une comparaison entre secteur privé et fonction publique d'Etat," Post-Print hal-00710213, HAL.

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