Psycho-Behavioral Science and Quality of Life

Abstract

Introduction Job design research that emerged in 1980’s through the influence of Herzberg’s hygiene theory in 1950’s, until now still holds significant attention. It has become a topic of interest in the management, specifically on how job motivates and ultimately provides satisfaction to workers. Despite many criticisms regarding the construct, Job Characteristics Model by Hackman and Oldham (1980) still remains one of the most popular construct in job design. Since its beginning in 1980s, job design has resulted in a number of researches investigating the relationships between work characteristics and work behavior outcomes, and findings have been implemented in job redesign attempts. Work autonomy is considered as one of the most important characteristics of work (Cordery & Wall, 1985) and perhaps one of the most widely studied work characteristics (Morgeson & Humphrey, 2006). Several studies have been conducted to investigate how work autonomy is related to certain work outcomes. The concept of employee autonomy has obtained increased focus in research, as well as in management implementation. This is due to the perceived overall benefit that it brings, not only to the individuals, but also to the corporate, that strive for low-cost management, flexibility and agility, effective and efficient operations, as provision of work autonomy would mean less middle managers (Benson & Lawler, 2005). Hackman and Oldham (1980) defined autonomy as ‘the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out’. According to Hackman and Oldham the work autonomy characteristic elicits the psychological states of experienced responsibility. The Sociotechnical Systems approach, too, put a great emphasis on the importance of work autonomy, this can be seen from one of the suggestions the theory put forward, i.e. the establishment of autonomous work groups. According to the Sociotechnical Systems approach work groups should be able to decide on their own methods of working and should be responsible for handling as many as possible of the operational problems they encounter, similarly the case with individual team member, in which one of the desirable work characteristics is that individuals should have an area of decision making they call on their own (Parker & Wall, 1998). On the concept of empowerment, Spreitzer (2007) summarized that empowerment is a result of an integration of contextual factors at work involving the provision of participative management as well as the psychological empowerment that individual workers feel in sensing the control in relation to their work. Likewise, the DemandControl Model posits that autonomy is an important factor that can determine the well-being of workers. Karasek and Theorell (1990) refer to this concept as decision latitude, or control over environment that would influence one’s action.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hafizh2010PsychoBehavioralSA, title={Psycho-Behavioral Science and Quality of Life}, author={Sayed Hafizh and Syed Sohail Imam}, year={2010} }