The concept of job enrichment was pioneered by Frederick Herzberg, who highlighted the importance of the content of jobs as a significant force in innovation. Job enrichment increases job depth, the degree to which individuals can play and control the work involved intheir jobs.
To guide job enrichment efforts, Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham have developed the job characteristics model. The model involves three main elements: core job characteristics, critical psychological states, and outcomes. According to the model, motivating through the design of jobs involves providing core job characteristics:
- Skill variety
- Skill variety is the extent to which the job entails a number of activities that require different skills.
- Task identity
- Task identity is the degree to which the job allows the completion of a major identifiable piece of work, rather than just a fragment.
- Task significance
- Task significance is the extent to which the worker sees the job output as having an important impact on others.
- is the amount of discretion allowed in determining schedules and work methods for achieving the required output.
- Feedback is the degree to which the job provides for clear, timely information about performance results.
The more that these core characteristics are reflected in jobs, the more motivating the jobs are likely to be.
There are three critical psychological states: feeling the work is meaningful, knowing that they are responsible for the outcomes, and actually finding out about results.Individuals are more likely to feel motivated by the job changes if they have the knowledge and skills they needto perform well in the redesigned job, if they have high growth need strength, and if they feel satisfied with other aspects of the job context (such as supervision, pay, and job security).
Growth need strength is the degree to which an individual needs personal growth and development on the job.
Considerable research support exists for the importance of the job characteristics model.