Work characteristics and job crafting: their relationships with employee well-being and behavior
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 13:18 by Eric Delle
Much research is published asserting that desirable work characteristics (i.e. low job demands combined with high resources), whether they are achieved by manager design or by employee crafting, will lead to valued outcomes in terms of employee wellbeing and productive work behaviors. However, not enough of this work utilizes rigorous (e.g. longitudinal) research designs, too little of this research looks at moderating factors that may determine important boundary conditions, and far too little of this research is conducted in African nations. Thus, drawing on relevant frameworks including the Job Demands-Resources model, the Conservation of Resources theory, and the person-environment fit theory, which have been used to study extensively, the effects of work characteristics on work outcomes in wealthy nations, and less in African countries, this thesis examined work characteristics (e.g., supervisor support, cognitive demands, and developmental leadership) and job crafting, their relationships with employee well-being, and capabilities, and the extent to which these relationships depend upon positive workplace phenomena (optimism, engagement, and social job crafting) in the Ghanaian context. Addressing the disproportionate focus of workplace research on Western populations, all studies were carried out using surveys completed by members of the Ghanaian workforce. Two papers utilized a three-wave longitudinal design to examine cross-lagged associations in 415 banking employees. Paper 1 revealed that rather than job crafting enhancing employee innovation, it was instead innovation that stimulate job crafting behaviors, but only for highly absorbed employees. Paper 2 revealed that effects of cognitive demands on engagement depended on levels of supervisory support provided. Furthermore, employee proficiency and adaptivity appeared to each benefit from a particular combination of cognitive demands, supervisor support, and social job crafting. Paper 3 utilizing cross-sectional data, focused on Ghanaian employees undertaking MBA studies at a Ghanaian public university. Results showed developmental leadership was positively associated with career adaptability, but only for employees who were relatively pessimistic about their careers. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are presented -- abstract.