Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Mastering the Craft of Job Crafting

Author: Ideas with Impact

Posted on Oct 22, 2014

Category: Faculty

Mastering the Craft of Job Crafting … impact on employee satisfaction

Job crafting involves employees making changes to their job in an effort to improve the job for themselves and this practice stretches across industries and organizational levels. Jobs are crafted by mechanics, research scientists, sales people, and even IT directors. Though the implicationsDr. Patrick Bruning is researching the topic of job crafting of job crafting are far-reaching, to date little research has been conducted on the topic. Dr. Patrick Bruning, a business professor at the University of New Brunswick, is studying the types of changes that people make in their jobs and the motivations guiding these changes. His aim is to understand more fully the different methods and outcomes involved with employee job crafting. He is attempting to answer critical questions relating to whether employees who craft their jobs are more or less efficient, engaged, and innovative at work. He also seeks to understand how job crafting relates to employee stress.

His research suggests two general dimensions or types of job crafting: efficiency job crafting and avoidance job crafting. Through efficiency job crafting employees seek to expand and improve the way they do their jobs, while avoidance job crafting involves employees’ withdrawal from tasks, responsibilities and roles.

Dr. Bruning found evidence supporting these general dimensions in a study of 433 job-crafting episodes described by 196 workers holding vastly different jobs within six different industries. His research suggests that forms of effectiveness job crafting require more employee effort, occurs more frequently, and is more effective than forms of avoidance job crafting.  Furthermore, individual engagement in effectiveness job crafting was found to predict manager rankings of innovation.

Dr. Bruning believes that a better understanding of job crafting and its motivations can have a positive and far-reaching impact on all workers. While many people might consider withdrawal to be the worst kind of job crafting, there was no evidence supporting this prediction. Moreover, respondents reportedly engaged these types of job crafting to focus on more central and critical work activities.

Job crafting happens everyday, whether it is done consciously or not. Dr. Bruning’s research to understand job crafting and the most effective approach to the process could have a positive impact on both employees and their host organizations. If done appropriately, it appears to represent an important form of employee innovation and stress management. With stress and burnout in the workplace becoming more pronounced, job crafting could be a way for employees to proactively manage their own health and well being. Also, the research has implications for students, as the training and practice of more effective job crafting practices could possibly help them manage their performance, workload, and stress throughout their education and eventual careers.  Future research will consider training possibilities for individuals and organizations.

Dr. Bruning joined the faculty of business administration this past summer for a two-year term and teaches courses in organizational behaviour and leadership.

By Maddie Tees.

For more information contact Liz Lemon-Mitchell.